President Rodrigo Duterte has removed three officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), a top Malacañang official said Monday.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the President terminated the appointments of Undersecretary for Protective Operations and Programs Group Mae Ancheta-Templa, Undersecretary for Promotive Operations and Programs Group Maria Lourdes Turalde-Jarabe and Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Hope Hervilla.
Medialdea said the termination was made to give Secretary Rolando Bautista, who only assumed the top DSWD post last month, a free hand to assemble his own team.
“We expect the new secretary to bring his own team to provide better services to the public,” the Palace official said in a message to reporters.
Medialdea denied that the sacking of the three DSWD officials stemmed from their affiliation with left-leaning organizations.
“No. [It’s for the] formation of a good team,” he said.
Prior to joining the government, Jarabe was the secretary general of Gabriela Women’s Party which has repeatedly criticized Duterte’s alleged misogynist remarks against women.
Hervilla is a former official of Bayan Muna party-list while Templa has been in social development work through various groups and people’s organizations since 1981.
With their termination, the remaining undersecretaries in the DSWD are Florita Villar (policy and plans), Camilo Gudmalin (support programs infrastructure management) and Luzviminda Ilagan (legislative liaison affairs and special presidential directives in Mindanao region).
Ilagan is a former Gabriela party-list representative.
Former Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, meanwhile, resigned last month as undersecretary for Luzon affairs and special concerns to run for Manila mayor.
Duterte’s ex-DSWD chief, Judy Taguiwalo, a left-leaning former University of the Philippines professor, failed to get the nod of the powerful Commission on Appointments last year. — RSJ, GMA News