President Rodrigo R. Duterte in his speech on Monday, May 28, lashed out and sacked the head of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) for favoring a freeport locator in granting gambling permits beyond its territorial jurisdiction.
“May I call the government corporate counsel now. Are you here? Because if you are, get out.. You are fired,” Mr. Duterte said, calling out government corporate counsel Rudolf Philip B. Jurado, during his speech after signing the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 at the Palace on Monday evening.
Mr. Duterte blasted Mr. Jurado for the latter’s reported issuance of a legal opinion that said APECO can operate outside the Aurora Economic Zone as long as it was within areas controlled by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
“When [APECO is] granted a franchise to conduct gambling in a certain facility, it does not include farming out that franchise to other cities and provinces. If that’s the case, then you can ramble on, following your theory, you can ramble on to give permits beyond the shores of Luzon and you can do it in Siasi, Jolo,” Duterte said.
The office of Mr. Jurado did not respond to phone calls seeking comment. BusinessWorld also reached out to OGCC’s second-in-command, Deputy Government Corporate Counsel Elpidio J. Vega, but he had already left his office according to his secretary.
Mr. Jurado has been tasked to head the statutory law office of government-owned-and-controlled corporations (GOCCs), their subsidiaries, government financial institutions, government corporate offspring, government instruments with corporate powers and government acquired asset corporations.
Mr. Jurado is a lawyer of the pro-administration Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC). — Arjay L. Balinbin with a report from Dane Angelo M. Enerio