- Former Dangerous Drugs Board chief identified his replacement following his removal
- He said he still respects president, denied they were quarreling
- He also said Duterte may know something he did not, hence his decision to remove him
MANILA, Philippines – Former Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Dionisio Santiago said his friend Undersecretary Marlowe Pedregosa has replaced him as officer-in-charge following his resignation.
“Alam ko na ang papalit, ‘yung papalit sa akin, ‘yung kaibigan ko naman. He was designated immediately as OIC. Si General Pedregosa,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying. [I know who is replacing me. My replacement is my friend. He was designated immediately as OIC. General Pedregosa.]
Santiago earlier announced he is quitting after being told by President Rodrigo Duterte to resign. The order supposedly stemmed from his criticism of a mega-rehab facility in Nueva Ecija which he described as impractical owing to its location. He suggested the creation of smaller facilities at the regional level which could better accommodate drug addicts.
Despite his de facto removal, Santiago said he still respects Duterte and denied the existence of a rift between them.
“The respect is still there, the support will always be there. Sa akin, hindi naman kami nag-away eh,” he said. [For me, we did not quarrel.]
The retired general added that Duterte may have had a deeper reason for ordering him to resign.
“O kung may nangyari man… kaya ang tanong ko pag tinatanong n’yo ako dito better ask them. Because if there is a deeper problem, deeper reason, they will know best. Hindi ako. Hindi ako pwedeng mag-explain, baka mali ang explanation ko,” he said.
[If something happened, then my question is shouldn’t you better ask them. Because if there is as deeper problem, deeper reason, they will know best. Not me. I can’t explain it, because maybe my explanation would be wrong.]