Taguiwalo rapped for fund diversion

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga ― Former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo is suspected of diverting government funds allotted for the government’s conditional dole to support the cause of the communist New People’s Army, President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday. 

Citing reports that could not be immediately verified independently, there were insinuations the bulk of the money supposedly intended for the 4 Ps program was given to the New People’s Army, adding he would have allowed that if the money was used to buy food for poor NPA members.

But he said there were anxieties the money was used to buy bullets or firearms, following the pronouncement of Jose Maria Sison, the exiled leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines, that the communists were expanding their ranks and recruiting new members.

Duterte said he did not believe allegations against taguiwalo, who was recently rejected by the powerful Commission on Appointments.

Former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo

Meanwhile, Duterte told former Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to first take a break amid the P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China that slipped through his agency. 

Last Friday, Faeldon and Duterte met at Davao City, two days after the latter accepted his resignation as Customs chief. 

“I told him to take a few days off. We will talk about his―talk about everything after that.” Duterte told reporters after leading the National Heroes Day commemoration at the Libigan ng mga Bayani.

“The reason why it took me time, because Congress was investigating or still investigating it.” he added.

At a chance interview during an Agriculture department event here , Duterte, however, expressed uncertainty if Faeldon would still like to take on another government post. 

Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier claimed that Faeldon received P100 million as “welcome gift” right after assuming his position at the Bureau of Customs.

Duterte, meanwhile, announced that Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapeña would take over Faeldon’s post as Customs chief. 

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