Andal defies PCA board’s suspension order, downplays corruption charges

MANILA-- Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Administrator Avelino Andal on Monday downplayed allegations of corruption thus would continue to assume his duties and functions despite a board resolution on his preventive suspension.

"I hate corruption from the very first day I would like to really like to help the government, I would like to help President Duterte to achieve his goals -no corruption, no drugs, no crimes, no insurgency and no poverty," he said in a press briefing.

He believed that President Duterte appointed him to the post because of his "record of honesty and competence".

Andal said he was informed Friday night about the so-called PCA Governing Board Resolution No. 027-2017 on his preventive suspension pending investigation over alleged corruption.

He stressed he will not follow an order stipulated just by a board resolution, noting that procedural due process should be applied.

"I will continue to perform my functions, my duties and responsibilities as the duly appointed administrator of the PCA. I will only follow legal orders from the authorities or from the courts," he added.

Andal further said the resolution on his preventive suspension has yet to be confirmed during the PCA board regular meeting on March 22, thus making it still invalid.

"Well, it's a good opportunity for me to rebut all the allegations and for the accuser to show proof that I am involved in corrupt activities, that the activities of my people are my activities too, (and) that the corruption allegations against them are my activities too. That has to be proven," he added.

The PCA Board reached the decision after receiving information that Andal was behind his employees' alleged extortion of Php1.50 per board foot of trees being cut in Basilan, Mindoro, Marinduque and Quezon.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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