Duterte on PCUP Chief: You had too much, too soon

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 12) — President Rodrigo Duterte has fired all commissioners of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP).

He confirmed this at an event in Malacañang Tuesday.

Dueterte said he arrived at his decision after he found out the commission only had "one or two" hearings even as it is a collegial body.

 

He also took aim at PCUP Chair Terry Ridon, whom he said had "too much, too soon."

"He was appointed September and he traveled about seven times. And to think that the office is an urban poor agency," Duterte said.

He added, "I cannot understand why you have to be there at every powwow in the international scene. We cannot afford it."

The President clarified, however, that there were no personal reasons behind Ridon's firing.

Duterte's confirmation came after Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque said the PCUP was not being abolished, and that it was only the commissioners being removed from their posts.

"With sincerest regrets, I would like to correct the statement I made on the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) during this morning's press briefing," Roque said. "It is to fire, and not to abolish the Commission."

Roque earlier said Duterte would abolish the commission, headed by former Kabataan Partylist Representative Ridon.

READ: Palace clarifies: Duterte to fire officials, not abolish urban poor commission

Ridon thanked Duterte for the opportunity to serve the nation, but said the agency's record "can speak for itself."

"We had implemented with full integrity the presidential promise of no demolition without relocation," Ridon said in a statement issued following Roque's announcement.

"We had represented government and given voice to the urban poor in international conferences on public housing, poverty alleviation and climate change, which was unprecedented in any administration," Ridon added.

Other PCUP commissioners are Melissa Aradanas, Joan Lagunda, Manuel Serra, and Noe Indonto.

According to its mandate under Executive Order 82, PCUP serves as the direct link of the urban poor to the government in policy formulation and program implementation addressed to their needs.

CNN Philippines Digital Producers VJ Bacungan and Pia Garcia contributed to this report.