Dino’s ouster sought; petitioner may face probe
CEBU, Philippines — An online petition has been initiated calling for the ouster of Secretary Michael Dino of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV).
But Dino’s camp said the petition only constitutes libelous allegations aimed to discredit him.
The petition on change.org is addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte. It has generated at least 2,500 “signatures” yesterday.
“This is about the official who represents you here in the Visayas and, unfortunately, give you a bad name. After reading this, we hope you will find the wisdom of replacing Sec. Mike Dino of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV),” the petition reads.
No particular name of a group or a petitioner is indicated, but the name of a certain Juan Alfafara appears as the one who started the petition.
The petition enumerates alleged infractions Dino has committed and even questioned the location of the OPAV office.
“His office look is certainly not aligned with the humble, modest taste of our President,” the petition says.
It also says that as the President’s extension in the Visayas, Dino could have also extended the same amount of help and focus to other local government units.
The Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit of the Cebu City Police Office has been asked to investigate the “untruthful inventions designed to malign the good name of Mr. Dino.”
“On its face, it can be readily seen that there is not one attachment, evidence or anything of substance that will support any allegations therein,” reads Dino’s letter to Col. Marlo Castillo, chief of the anti-cybercrime unit.
“It is the position of Mr. Dino that, while coming in the form of a petition for change, this is actually a tool for libelous misinformation against Mr. Dino,” the letter reads.
“We are requesting your good office to conduct an investigation. It is the position of Mr. Dino that a crime has been committed and the personalities behind this be identified and prosecuted.”
His lawyer, Jerome Dominic Neri, said the petition is not a petition for change but a move to discredit Dino.
“This is really not a petition for change. It is nothing but libelous statements to discredit the good Secretary. It is a wild conspiracy theory without an iota of evidence against Secretary Dino,” Neri said.
Prior to the online petition, a letter was also circulated to ask for Dino’s resignation.
During the press conference of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on June 23, Dino said he will keep on working “As long as I have the trust and confidence of the president.”
He said the President “is very smart” and would have already called him to Malacañang if Duterte learned that he had engaged in anything anomalous.
“You cannot fool the president. He has a lot of intelligence officers here,” Dino has said. JMO (FREEMAN)