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3 top Bicol DPWH execs axed

By Manuel T. Ugalde LEGAZPI CITY ---- Informed of allegations that the regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways is the most corrupt in Bicol, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar ordered the relief of its regional director, assistant regional director, and the agency’s legal officer. Ordered relieved were Regional Director Reynaldo Tagudando, Assistant Regional Director Armando Estrella and Legal Officer Oliver Rodulfo. Region 13 Regional Director Danilo Bersola will replace Tagudando while Marinduque District Engineer Esmeraldo Sarmiento will take over Estrella’s post in an acting capacity. Rodulfo will be replaced by a certain lawyer Laboga, reports said. Tagudando cannot be contacted for comment while Estrella confirmed he and Tagudando were both relieved of their posts. Estrella added Tagudando has been reassigned at the DPWH Bureau of Research and Standards while he admitted that he is still in the dark as to his fate, or would he be reassigned, if ever. It was reported that Estrella has only two years left before his retirement. Rodulfo has been reassigned to Cebu according to the DPWH website posted on Feb. 23. On January 14, Villar accidentally met with Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chair Dante Jimenez at the Legazpi Airport departure area where the secretary was told by Jimenez: “Don’t you know Mr. Secretary that DPWH is the most corrupt in Bicol?” The short dialogue between Villar and Jimenez was reportedly witnessed by Estrella, legal officer Oliver Rodulfo,and other DWPH local officials. During the meeting, the VACC chair also asked the secretary to investigate the controversial collapsed portion of the P50-million Naga City River flood control project (which, however, has been restored by this time). Villar met with his Bicol regional and 15 district engineering executives in Legazpi City last January 13, 2017 where local journalists pursued but failed topersonally interview him. Prof. Salvador Flor, 70, president of the Bicol Reporters Association lamented that the dozens of local journalists who pursued Villar at the DPWH regional office here to personally bring to his attention a litany of alleged DPWH scandals were so disappointed after being informed that the secretary had unceremoniusly exited via the DPWH back door. In the evening, however, Villar was interviewed by selected few mediamen who were brought before him at the hotel that the secretary checked in. According to documents Tagudando was cited for having a hand in the promotion of certain engineer-officers and employees in the office. Ironically, the was filed by legal officer Oliver Rodulfo whom Tagundando also sued to be disbarred for alleged baseless accusations.

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