Published: Monday 21 May, 2018

Duterte Tells Cesar Montano to Resign Amid ‘Buhay Carinderia’ Controversy

Another Duterte appointee has resigned. Actor Cesar Montano handed in his resignation to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday amid another multi-million controversy in the Department of Tourism (DOT). Montano was chief operating officer of the Tourism Promotions Board (TBP), an agency under the DOT.

Cesar Montano resigns

Cesar Montano resigns as TPB COO with a multi-million controversy hanging over his head. (GMA Network photo)

Malacanang confirmed Monday that Duterte accepted the resignation of Cesar Montano, who is embroiled in an P80 million sponsorship controversy involving the project ‘Buhay Carinderia’. “In faithful adherence to my duty as a public servant, I am respectfully tendering my courtesy resignation as Chief Operating Officer [COO] of the Tourism Promotions Board [TPB] effective immediately,” said Montano in his resignation letter addressed to Duterte and coursed thru Bong Go, Special Assistant to the President. “I am truly grateful for the trust and the opportunity you have bestowed upon me to serve our country through the Tourism Promotions Board,” he added.

It was reported that Duterte had a closed-door meeting with Montano over the weekend to explain his side on the Buhay Carineria project. In that meeting, the Duterte reportedly told Cesar Montano to resign. Earlier this month, newly-appointed DOT secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat suspended the Buhay Carinderia project after finding out that it did not go through a public bidding. In the interest of transparency, Puyat said all projects of the DOT should go through bidding even though she found out that sponsorships of the TPB did not traditionally go through the process. Romulo-Puyat was quoted saying that she believes Montano acted in good faith but, nevertheless, asked the Commission on Audit (COA) to look into the project. Cesar Montano was appointed by Duterte to the TPB post in 2016.