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SSS chair, commissioner sacked

Duterte decides not to renew appointments of Valdez, La Viña
/ 06:00 AM February 13, 2018

Malacañang yesterday announced that President Duterte had not renewed his appointment of Social Security System (SSS) chair Amado Valdez and commissioner Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) informed Valdez and La Viña, who had been serving in a holdover capacity since July 2017, that their services were being “discontinued immediately.”

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“Considering that your term of office expired on June 30, 2017, and that you have since been serving in the SSS in a holdover capacity, we may inform you that, upon instructions from the President, your service in the SSS is hereby discontinued immediately,” Roque quoted the OES letter to Valdez.

He said there were no reasons given for the President’s decision not to renew the appointments of Valdez and La Viña. It comes as the SSS is planning to raise in April the contribution rate of its members to boost collections and keep the state-run social insurance fund viable.

Roque added that Mr. Duterte had yet to decide on who would replace the two officials.

The President appointed Valdez, a former dean of the University of the East College of Law, as SSS chair in October 2016. He served as Mr. Duterte’s legal counsel during the canvassing of votes in the May 2016 elections.

On the other hand, La Viña headed the successful social media campaign in the May 2016 elections. After his appointment in the SSS, he accused SSS executive vice president Rizaldy Capulong and 20 others before the Office of the Ombudsman of approving P143 million worth of media contracts that he alleged were anomalous.

Last month, the SSS employees union sent a petition to Malacañang and asked the Palace to dismiss La Viña. The union alleged that SSS employees were demoralized by La Viña’s decision to go public with his accusations against Capulong and other SSS officials.

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