Game’s over for transportation ASec Mark Tolentino

Mark Tolentino

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has just fired a high-ranking official from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the chief executive decided to terminate the services of DOTr Assistant Sec. Mark Tolentino for allegedly talking with the president’s sister about a government project.

“Kapag kinausap ninyo po ang kahit na sinong kamag-aanak ng Presidente, basehan na po ‘yan para kayo ay sibakin,” the spokesman said.

Roque explained that the president has made clear to his appointees that all matters related to any government endeavor should undergo the correct processes.

He further adds that what Duterte dislikes the most is the idea of calling on his friends and relatives to seek their advice on how they can convince the president to favor an opinion about a particular issue.

“Ang order po ng Presidente sa lahat ng taong gobyerno, wag niyo pong kakausapin ang kahit sinong kamag-anak niya na meron pong gustong kahit anong kontrata o appointment sa gobyerno,” Roque shared.

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Last Friday, Tolentino called for a press conference wherein he disclosed that he sought the opinion of a member of the first family on whether he should tell the president about the government officials who are allegedly delaying the P36-billion Mindanao railway project.

The DOTr has labelled the press conference as “unauthorized” as it did not gain any approval from the department, though Tolentino maintained that he is in the best position to speak about all rail-related projects.