Just when everybody thought that Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. is staying in his post, Malacanang announced on Friday, May 22, that the resignation letter he submitted has been formally accepted.
The Palace confirms that OCD Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima has been relieved from his post effective immediately due to loss of trust and confidence.— Harry Roque (@attyharryroque) May 22, 2020
We likewise affirm that the President has accepted the resignation of DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. pic.twitter.com/ejS8VkuZZt
In a message posted on Twitter, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has accepted Rio’s letter of resignation that was tendered almost four months ago.
Rio, in a Facebook post, confirmed that Duterte has indeed accepted his resignation.
Despite the controversy generated by his offer to quit, it was generally assumed that Rio would remain in his post after patching up his differences with DICT secretary Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II regarding the agency’s disbursement of its P300-million confidential funds.
It turned out that Rio did not withdraw his resignation after all. When contacted by Newsbytes.PH last Jan. 31, Rio said his resignation was still “under negotiation” but did not deny that he was quitting his post. A source said then that Honasan was persuading him to stay.
Rio is a retired military general who served as acting secretary of the DICT after the resignation of former secretary Rodolfo Salalima. He was in the running for the top DICT position but it ultimately went to Honasan, an ally of Duterte.
Rio also served as commissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission during the term of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He is an electrical engineering graduate of the University of the Philippines where he also took up his advanced ROTC courses.