Duterte fires all Nayong Pilipino officers, board members

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 7) — President Rodrigo Duterte has sacked the entire management and board members of Nayong Pilipino, his spokesperson announced on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte terminated all Nayong Pilipino officials for corrupt activities.

"He announced that he was sacking all members of the board and management of Nayong Pilipino... (They) leased government property for a ridiculous long period of time of 70 years. He considered this a contract which was grossly disadvantageous to government," Roque said. He added Duterte is also set to terminate the said contract.

He said no other details were given by the President.

Duterte was furious that government officials and employees are still into corrupt activities despite all his stern warnings, the spokesperson relayed.

"The President started the (Cabinet) meeting expressing his exasperation that corruption continues even in his administration," he said.

In a statement, Nayong Pilipino Foundation chairperson Patricia Ocampo said she would follow the President's decision to replace the foundation's board of trustees and management team.

She said what happened was regrettable, but that they served "at the pleasure of the President."

Ocampo, however, denied the accusations against the foundation.

"I strongly deny accusations that there was graft and corruption. On the contrary, the lease contract with Landing International Development Ltd. is above-board, and is highly advantageous to the government and to the Filipino people," she said.

"We negotiated what we believed then, and believe now, are most advantageous terms and conditions for the government and the people," Ocampo said.

In his two years in office, Duterte had let go of some officials over corruption allegations, while others left their posts ahead of getting the boot.

The announcement was made just as groundbreaking rites were underway for a casino project of a subsidiary of Hong Kong casino-resort developer Landing International Development Ltd on land leased from Nayong Pilipino Foundation at the Entertainment City in Parañaque.

The Commission on Audit earlier earlier noted that there was no public bidding to build, operate and maintain the resort casino and no land appraisal or invitation for competitive offers, contrary to law.

Maria Fema Duterte, a member of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation board, in May filed criminal and administrative complaints before the Ombudsman against her fellow board members for approving the lease agreement with Landing, saying under the terms of the agreement, the government stood to lose at least 517 million pesos yearly.