President Rodrigo Duterte fired Office of Civil Defense Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima, Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque, announced on Friday, May 22.
“The Palace confirms that Office of the Civil Defense Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima has been relieved from his post effective immediately due to loss of trust and confidence,” Roque said in a statement.
President Duterte has no formal announcement yet to who will replace Purisima, Roque said in an interview on GMA-7. However, the OCD’s website showed Assistant Secretary Casiano Monilla now occupies the post of civil defense deputy administrator.
According to Roque, Purisima was involved in the government’s response to the pandemic crisis.
“Yung opisina po nya ay at the forefront of providing assistance pag meron pong mga calamities. Meron din pong papel yung opisina nya dito sa COVID-19 dahil kabahagi po sila sa COVID response,” he said.
(His office is at the forefront of assisting whenever there are calamities. His office is also involved in the COVID response.)
Office of civil defense involvement in COVID-19 response
In April, President Duterte signed an administrative order that mandates all COVID-19 donations and medical supplies shall be transmitted and managed by the Office of Civil Defense.
All donations to the National Government of the DOH medicines, medical equipment and supplies, and other health products intended to address COVID-19 situation, whether received or accepted from foreign governments, private entities, non-governmental organization, or any group or individual, shall be coordinated with and transmitted to the OCD for consolidation.
Meanwhile, direct donations from any of the same donors to other departments, bureaus, offices, state colleges or universities, government-owned or controlled corporations, or government hospitals or medical facilities shall continue to be allowed without the need for consolidation in OCD.
OCD shall also prepare an inventory of all donations to the National Government.
Under the Administrative Order, OCD shall submit a weekly report to the President through the Executive Secretary on the actions taken regarding management, consolidation, and distribution of COVID-19 donations.
Purisima was the former spokesman of Task Force Bangon Marawi, which oversees the rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction of the city.