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Duterte fires FDA head Nela Puno for corruption



The anti-corruption purge in government continues.

President Duterte has fired Food and Drug Administration Director General Nela Charade G. Puno as part of the government’s campaign against corruption, Malacañang announced yesterday.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has written a letter to Puno about the termination of her appointment “effective immediately,” according to presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo.

The termination letter dated May 15 was released by Panelo to the media yesterday.

“Please be advised, that upon instructions of the President, your appointment as Director General of the Food and Drugs Authority, Department of Health, is hereby terminated, effective immediately,” Medialdea told 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 manner worthy of public trust,” he added.

To ensure uninterrupted delivery of public service, Medialdea directed Puno to turn over all official documents, papers, and properties to the DoH-Office of the Undersecretary for Health Regulation.

Panelo declined to elaborate on the details of Puno’s termination, including allegations hurled against her. He said he was only asked to read Medialdea’s letter to the public.

Puno, a pharmacy board topnotcher, was appointed by Duterte in 2016. She is the wife of businessman Rodolfo Puno.

Suspected communist rebels attacked a convoy of Puno in Lupi, Camarines Sur last year, killing three police officers and injuring three other cops. Puno, who was supposed to attend an event in Daet, Camarines Sur, was unhurt. (Genalyn Kabiling)