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Duterte fires FDA chief Puno

President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Food and Drug Administration Director General Nela Charade Puno, accusing her of corruption, Malacañang said Thursday.

Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the announcement, citing a letter by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea that was addressed to Puno.

“This is in line with the President’s continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption, and to ensure that public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worthy of public trust,” the letter dated May 15 stated.

The Palace directed Puno to immediately turn over all official documents, papers and properties in her possession to the Office of the Undersecretary for Health Regulation of the Department of Health.

Puno, who survived an ambush in Camarines Sur in October last year, was appointed by Duterte as FDA chief in 2016.

The President had earlier promised to issue “letters of dismissal” to government officials accused of corruption.

In a statement, the Department of Health announced the assumption of Undersecretary Eric Domingo as officer-in-charge of the agency.

"The DOH supports President Duterte’s commitment to eradicate graft and corruption in all government agencies," a DOH statement read.

"Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo will assume as officer-in-charge to ensure continuous and uninterrupted operations of the FDA until the appointment of a new Director General," it added. — BM/NB, GMA News