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Palace: Public servants must never be tainted with corruption

Public servants must never be tainted with corruption, Malacañang said yesterday, after President Duterte decided to let go of National Irrigation Administration Administrator Peter T. Lavina who resigned over extortion allegations.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella admitted that the Palace regrets Laviña’s resignation but reminded him that the administration does not tolerate even an “intimation” of corruption.

“That his departure from the NIA is tainted with allegations of wrongdoing, therefore, runs against the very core of this administration’s values,” Abella said in a statement.

“Mr. Lavina may have his own take on this matter, as he is entitled to his opinion, but at the end of the day, public service must brook no hint of corruption, any intimation of which must be faced squarely and without favor,” Abella said.

“Only then can we move forward, towards a well functioning government; towards a nation worthy of our people. And a people worthy of the nation,” he added.

Laviña denied allegations he asked money from NIA contractors. He has reportedly apologized to the President for the intrigues that affected his anti-corruption efforts.

The Palace said the President has accepted the resignation of Laviña. “We deeply regret the resignation of Mr. Peter Laviña as head of the National Irrigation Administration,” Abella said.

“He has been a strong supporter of the President as early as the latter’s years as Mayor of Davao City. In his various capacities in the public and private sectors, he has consistently demonstrated his loyalty to his principal.”

Laviña vowed steadfast support for Duterte despite leaving the top NIA post. He also asked others to drop their crab mentality and instead be ready to bite the bullet for the President if needed.

“God is good! Let’s move on! Those with crab mentality will be left behind for back-stabbings, back-bitings, finger-pointings, rumor-mongering, etc.,” he said in a Facebook post.

“Nation-building is a tall task in which each one should share for the common good! Let us help the President, bite the bullet for him or be a sacrificial lamb, if need be!” Lavina said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)