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DoST chief’s appointment raises conflict of interest concerns By Aytch S. de la Cruz 08/13/2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

DoST chief’s appointment raises conflict of interest concerns

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
It is now the Aquino administration’s turn to defend itself from the conflict of interest issues that might hound it soon, as Malacañang yesterday confirmed reports that Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo is related by affinity to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

The admission was made by presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda during a post-briefing interview but he denied that Ochoa, a close ally of President Aquino, has lobbied for his brother-in-law’s appointment at the helm of the
Department of Science and Technology (DoST).

“Secretary Montejo is in a relatively apolitical department. He is in the DoST and he is qualified to head that agency. There was no politics involved there,” Lacierda said.

He stressed that Montejo was appointed owing to his feats cited by the President in the field of science and technology including some of the inventions that he supposedly made in the past.

“Secretary Mario Montejo is the brother-in-law of Secretary Ochoa but please don’t put any political color because he is more than qualified. Again, the appointing power is the President, not Secretary Ochoa — just to emphasize that point,” he told reporters.

Because of this confirmation, speculations become widespread that Montejo has something to do with Aquino’s decision to sack Prisco Nilo as chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) last week..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100813hed4.html


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