January 24, 2018, 9:19 am
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Duterte: Ignore kin seeking favors

PRESIDENT Duterte is reminding government officials to ignore any plea, request, favor, or financial transaction from any member of his family and other relatives, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday.

Roque said he is not aware of any incident or event during the holidays that triggered the reminder but he was directed by the President to make the announcement at the start of the year.

Roque said it is being made “in the spirit of transparency.”

“The President would like to reiterate his prior instruction to the Cabinet to ignore any pleas to be made by any of his relatives in connection with any government transaction. The President is renewing his call that any and all of his relatives are not authorized to approach anyone in government in connection with any government-related transaction,” he said.

In the case of the President’s son-in-law, lawyer Manases Carpio who is providing legal counsel to some private companies like Mighty Corporation which had some dealings and tax arrangements with government, Roque said there should be “no problem” if he “performs his duties pursuant to the rules of legal ethics.”

“But it’s very clear in the rules of legal ethics that one should not take advantage also of any position in the discharge of functions of a lawyer. And the President trusts that Attorney Carpio is familiar with these canons of legal ethics,” he said.
Carpio is the husband of presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Malacañang also issued a new set of guidelines that will govern the travels abroad of government officials and personnel in the executive department, including those in government-owned and controlled corporations and financial institutions.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued the order dated January 3 in compliance with the pronouncement of President Duterte last December against “extravagant and lavish travels” abroad by officials belonging to the executive department.

In November 2017, Medialdea issued Memorandum Circular 35 which reminded those in the executive branch that all travels, especially foreign, would require approval from their respective heads of agencies and that all travels would be approved if these satisfy all of the three criteria: the purpose of the trip is strictly within the mandate of the requesting government official or personnel; the projected expense for the trip is not excessive; and the trip is expected to bring substantial benefit to country.

In the new memorandum, Medialdea reiterated the three criteria and added that no travel abroad, whether for private or personal purpose, shall be allowed unless the official or personnel acquired travel authorization from his or her agency and that a leave of absence is filed. The trip should also not hamper the operation of the government agency.
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