President Rodrigo Duterte has fired three officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed Monday.
Undersecretary for Protective Operations and Programs Group Mae Ancheta-Templa, Undersecretary for Promotive Operations and Programs Group Maria Lourdes Turalde-Jarabe, and Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Hope Hervilla have been terminated to give newly appointed Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista a chance to pick his own team, Medialdea said.
“We expect the new secretary to bring his own team to provide better services to the public,” the Palace official told reporters in a text message.
Asked if the termination stemmed from the three officials’ affiliation with left-leaning organizations, Medialdea said no, and said it was for the formation of a good team.
Before joining the Duterte administration, Jarabe served as the secretary general of Gabriela Women’s Party, a leftist Filipino organization that advocates women’s rights and which has criticized the President on several occasions for his supposed misogynist remarks against women.
Hervilla is a former official of Bayan Muna party-list, while Templa has been in various groups and people’s organizations facilitating social development efforts since 1981.
Three undersecretaries now remain active in the DSWD, namely Florita Villar for policy and plans, Camilo Gudmalin for support programs infrastructure management, and Luzviminda Ilagan for legislative liaison affairs and special presidential directives in Mindanao region.