DND undersecretary axed without clear reason?
By Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – A former defense undersecretary who recommended the investigation of two key defense officials is claiming he has been relieved from his post without a clear reason.
In a letter to employees of the Department of National Defense (DND) dated March 18, former defense undersecretary Ariston de los Reyes said he got a letter last March 9 from the Office of the Executive Secretary informing him that he had been recalled from duty.
The letter, furnished to reporters yesterday, allegedly ordered De los Reyes to report to the Executive Secretary in Malacañang.
“I called up the Acting Secretary of National Defense (Norberto Gonzales) who instructed that I would, in the meantime, continue performing my duties. On March 10, (the secretary said) he was not aware of the recall,” De los Reyes said.
“On March 11, as instructed, I reported to the Executive Secretary (Leandro Mendoza) who informed me that due to reorganization, my designation was terminated,” he added.
De los Reyes said he has not been informed of the reason for the sudden termination, which he described as “untimely.”
He said he recently initiated reports “on two incidents involving two DND officials whom I recommended for investigation.”
De los Reyes declined to identify the two officials but revealed that one of them is an undersecretary while the other is an assistant secretary.
He said he filed a complaint against the undersecretary last year for approving a National Defense College of the Philippines memorandum without the required staff work. De los Reyes claimed this allowed the undersecretary’s son from the private sector to attend a master’s class at the expense of the government.
De los Reyes, a former Navy Vice Admiral, said the memorandum made it appear that the son satisfied all the requirements. He said the memorandum was dishonest and misleading.
“It turned out that the son needed two waivers, namely: age requirement since he was only 33 years instead of 35 years old upon entry; and positional requirements for an applicant coming from the private sector who must be a senior executive,” he said.
On the other hand, de los Reyes filed a complaint against the assistant secretary early this month for illegal possession of ammunition.
In a report to the defense secretary last March 8, De los Reyes said assorted ammunition were found among the personal belongings of the assistant secretary while they were being moved to the records room.