PIA chief in hot water

PRESIDENTIAL Communications and Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) secretary Martin Andanar on Monday revealed that the agency’s legal department is looking into the allegations of corruption against Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Harold Clavite.

In a statement, Andanar said that Clavite Clavite is reportedly accused of splitting contracts, misusing funds for hotel accommodations, and irregularities in the production of information materials.

“Given the gravity of the corruption allegations and guided by the ‘whiff of corruption principle’ of the Duterte administration, our legal office is one with the President to stomp out corruption from the bureaucracy as long as there is proof,” said Andanar.

Clavite, on the other hand, regarded the allegations “baseless and unsubstantiated” and stressed that he will answer the charges in the proper forum.

“If a complaint was indeed sent to the Office of the Ombudsman, then the PCOO does not have jurisdiction over those complaints,” said Clavite, adding that a recent check with the Ombudsman showed there is no pending complaint against him.

“The allegations are baseless and unsubstantiated. This is part of a demolition job being done against me because of the financial and organizational reforms that I have instituted in the PIA since I took office in 2016,” he stressed.

The PIA, which serves as the country’s main development communications arm, is an attached unit of the PCOO.