A seafarers’ group on Saturday said that the Office of the Ombudsman should investigate the “unnecessary junkets” of sacked Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) chief Marcial “Al” Amaro III.
The group United Filipino Seafarers (UFS) said, aside from being relieved, Amaro should also undergo investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman.
In a statement, UFS president Engr. Nelson Ramirez lambasted Amaro, accusing him of having more time doing junkets than working in his office to attend to the needs of the country’s maritime industry.
“His days outside the country are more than the number of days of his stay in the Philippines. When he is in the country, he spent more time outside the office than in his office at Marina. This must be investigated,” Ramirez said.
“Amaro’s case must be acted by the Office of the Ombudsman since he has more time doing junkets rather than in his office,” he said.
The UFS also chided Amaro for cancelling his monthly forum with maritime stakeholders, suggesting that he prioritized his trips more than the forum.
“He also made a memorandum order halting the monthly Usapang STCW, which is a great avenue to consult the maritime stakeholders on how to rebuild the rotting maritime industry,” Ramirez said.
“Amaro is reasoning out that Marina doesn’t have the means to continue. Oh come on! So where did you get the budget for your unnecessary junkets?” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte fired Amaro after a Department of Transportation (DOTr) report showed his alleged excessive foreign trips, presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced on Thursday.
The UFS also thanked the President for ordering the relief of Amaro, thus, saving the maritime sector from “junketeers.”
The DOTr report showed that Amaro made a total of 24 foreign trips in the last two years, Roque said. Amaro, however, said in an interview with ANC’s “Headstart” that he only traveled 21 times as Marina chief.
In addition, Amaro told ANC that he was “disappointed that he would not be able to implement the programs he lined up for 2018, but had accepted Duterte’s decision,” adding that he had a “10-year plan” for the agency.
“You are really a born jester. You don’t even have to strive to become a clown.” he said. /jpv
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