Dureza: Still no word from P-Noy

HAGONOY, Davao del Sur –  Two days after offering to relinquish the chairmanship of the  Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), laywer Jesus Dureza on Saturday said he has not   received any feedback from the President.

Dureza, who also serves as National Programme Director of Action for Conflict Transformation for Peace Progam (ACT for Peace), added he is ready to share with his successor his experience as chair of the defunct Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) and Office of the Presidential Assistant for Mindanao (Opamin).

“If the President makes a choice, I’m willing to share my experience because I have served since the time of President Ramos and President Arroyo,” he said.

Asked if he could recommend somebody  to replace him, Dureza replied, “We’ll see if the time comes.”

He added that he doesn’t have anyone in mind to replace him as MinDA chair but one thing for sure is that he or she must be from Mindanao.

“I know the job description of this position. Under the law, he or she should be a resident of Mindanao for five years prior to the appointment,” said Dureza, who visited Barangay Aplaya here for the turnover of ACT For Peace livelihood project to the community.

He reiterated that even if his term as MinDA chair is six years, he offered to give up his post to give the President a free hand to choose the next MinDA chair.

In his two-page, eight-paragraph memorandum for the President dated July 29 and coursed through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Dureza said he would “voluntarily relinquish the position upon the assumption of the new Chair of your choice,” to “ensure a smooth and seamless transition and avoid any hiatus in the Authority’s operations.”

The Office of the President-Malacanang Records Office stamped received the memo also on July 29.

MinDA, created by Republic Act 9996 was signed into law by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 17 this year.

Dureza was sworn into office on March 8, hence the criticism that Dureza was among Arroyo’s midnight appointees.”

“If I may, please allow me to immediately point out the fact that my offer to relinquish the position is not because I am turning my back on my work in Mindanao. I have exerted my best for Mindanao all these years starting with President Ramos and then with President Arroyo. There is a lot more to do for all of us. Neither am I trying to undermine the rationale behind the ‘fixed term’ clause of the MinDA law. Nor am I setting aside the honor and trust given to me by President Arroyo who appointed me and to whom I am most grateful,” Dureza wrote. (Keith Bacongco / Mindanews)