DILG Usec. Rico Puno resigns

Department of the Interior and Local Government undersecretary Rico Puno has announced Tuesday, September 11, that he has resigned from his post.

usec rico puno
Puno said he had stepped down to give the incoming DILG secretary, Mar Roxas, a free hand in choosing his team when he assumes office, reports ABS-CBN News correspondent Willard Cheng on cable channel ANC.

Puno also reportedly said in a statement that he believes he performed as DILG undersecretary to the best of his abilities.

Puno’s resignation came days after news broke that he allegedly tried to enter the condominium unit of the late DILG secretary Jesse Robredo in Quezon City a day after the latter’s plane crashed at sea off Masbate on August 18.

An ABS-CBN TV Patrol report on September 7, which cited unnamed sources, said Puno and several officials of the Philippine National Police were subjects of a probe conducted by Robredo, due to a purported anomalous firearms deal, before he died.

In a statement, Puno claims he secured secretary Robredo’s office on August 18 upon the instructions of President Aquino and was only informed about the documents inside Robredo’s condo unit the following day.

Here is the full text of Usec. Puno’s official statement regarding his resignation:

“When the President asked me to serve in the DILG, he emphasized that we need to strengthen the institution so that our uniformed personnel will become truly servants and protectors of our people. For the past two years, I have carried out specific assignments in accordance with the President’s mandate.

We have introduced reforms to ensure full transparency of procurement and bidding processes. We have streamlined these processes to achieve the President’s objective of getting “the biggest bang for the buck” in providing basic equipment for enabling our uniformed personnel to perform their tasks effectively.

I believe that I have carried out my assigned duties to the best of my ability.

Moving forward, I have resigned as DILG Undersecretary to support the President’s decision to give a free hand to the incoming Secretary in forming a new team.

I wish to thank President Aquino for his trust and confidence in giving me the opportunity to serve our country and people.”