Marina administrator sacked over excessive junkets

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 4) — President Rodrigo Duterte sacked the Philippine Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) chief, Marcial Amaro III, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

In a media briefing in Davao City, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Amaro was fired for his excessive junkets. The Marina administrator reportedly had 24 trips — 18 in 2017, six in 2016.

Roque said only three of the trips were sponsored, and the rest were shouldered by the government.

He added Amaro received honorarium in all his trips abroad.

Amaro is the second official fired for supposed excessive junkets, the first was Philippine Commission on Urban Poor chief Terry Ridon.

For his part, Amaro denied claims of excessive junkets.

In a statement Wednesday, Amaro said: "Simply, this claim is utterly false because, firstly, I have been able to discharge my official duties and, secondly, my travels - as shall be explained - were actually in fulfillment of my obligations as Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina)."

Amaro also claimed someone wants to replace him with an administrator who can be "unwittingly used by vested interests."

"Basically, this business group wants me to sign a resolution that will allow them to run a maritime school despite the fact that they have not complied with the requirements for the granting of an authority to run a Maritime Institution," Amaro said.

Roque said there is no replacement for Amaro as yet.

"With 100 million Filipinos, we're confident that there will be a Filipino who can do the job in Marina," Roque said.

The Marina was created in June 1974 as an attached agency to the Office of the President under Presidential Decree No. 474. The agency integrates the development, promotion and regulation of the maritime industry in the country.

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