Millar: “What allegations of corruption?”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 Nov) — “What allegations of corruption?” former Undersecretary Millar, Secretary-General of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and head the TFBM secretariat, asked Friday morning, hours after President Rodrigo Duterte announced he fired him due to corruption.

Undersecretary Falconi Ace Millar briefs reporters on the Marawi rehabilitation efforts during the Mindanao Media Forum on “Reporting Mindanao: Peace, Martial Law and Marawi Rehab” on November 16, 2018 in Davao City. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

“I just wanted to have some personal space at the moment. One would simply ask, what allegations of corruption?” Millar told MindaNews, as he reiterated he resigned Thursday morning following an alleged “demolition job” done against him by people with selfish interests.

At the inauguration of the Cavite Gateway Terminal Thursday afternoon, Duterte announced that just before leaving his office, “I signed a dismissal order ‘yung secretary-general ng Housing. A certain Mil, Millar. Binabasa ko ‘yung resume kanina tinitignan ko ‘yung termination and knew what a deep shit the guy has created for him.”

“Valedictorian sa Law class and everything. But I don’t know. Somehow along the way, somehow along the way, I’ve been with government as a public prosecutor, a fiscal, then as mayor for 23 years in Davao. Marami akong nakita. Along the way, corruption creeps in. And mahirap talaga… (it’s so difficult). You know when you are there, secretary-general, you have the power, you have the authority. You can do corruption and it can corrupt you, give you a little or it corrupts you absolutely. So power corrupts and sometimes it is really you want your money to go to your pocket almost everyday,” Duterte said.

He did not elaborate.

Millar, Valedictorian of his batch at the Manuel L. Quezon University School of Law, and a certified public accountant, was head of  the TFBM Secretariat and the Selection Committee for the supposed Joint Venture Agreement scheme for the Marawi rehabilitation.

“The vulnerabilities and sensitivities of the administration on issues of corruption have been exploited by some unscrupulous personalities to further their personal interest. It is an obvious demolition job,” said Millar.

He declined to elaborate on the “demolition job” and who the “unscrupulous personalities are.” But on Thursday night, in a brief telephone interview, he mentioned “this shady character” whom he did not name but was supposed to have been among those behind the “demolition job” against him.

Millar said he cannot blame the President for what he said in Cavite, based on what was fed to him.

“I cannot blame the president. The demolition job was maliciously orchestrated and designed to stir the sensitivities of the President on issues of corruption,”  he said.

He reiterated his Thursday evening statement that “in protecting the interest of the government, I have annoyed and crossed some personalities,” that he “filed my resignation morning of November 22” and that “it is the government’s loss not mine.”

He did not name the personalities.

He urged government to “dig deeper and investigate the persons behind the demolition job.”

“I just want to pray and reflect right now,” he said.

MindaNews asked Housing Secretary and TFBM chair Eduardo del Rosario Friday morning what the alleged corruption is all about. “Does this have anything to do with TFBM funds?” MindaNews asked.

Del Rosario replied: “The President had already spoken. Ace Millar said he wanted to pray and reflect, let us leave it at that.”

Millar was with Del Rosario during the Mindanao Media Forum on ‘Reporting Mindanao: Peace, Martial Law and Marawi Rehab’ on November 16 in this city. He presented updates on the Marawi rehabilitation efforts. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)