FERNANDO REPLACED AT DPWH BUT KEEPS MMDA

Makati City, April 28, 2003 -- Bayani Fernando yesterday quit his post as 
acting secretary of the Department Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to give 
full attention to his job as chairman of the Metropolitan Manila 
Development Authority (MMDA).

Fernando's move prompted President Arroyo to appoint DPWH Undersecretary 
Florante Soriquez as the department's acting chief.

Soriquez, according to sources, was charged with graft before the 
anti-graft Sandiganbayan last 2000 involving a scam in the Mt. Pinatubo 
project.

It was, however, not determined whether his case was already dismissed or 
is still pending before the court.

Based on his credentials, Soriquez, 61, had been involved in numerous 
well-known construction projects such as the Manila International Airport 
Driveway in 1962, Guadalupe Interchange at Edsa and the Tramo Road in Pasay 
City.

He is a native of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, and earned his civil 
engineering degree from the Mapua Institute of Technology. He further honed 
his education by completing a master in management degree at the Philippine 
Christian University.

Fernando temporarily headed the top post as DPWH secretary last January 
after its former chief, Simeon Datumanong, was appointed by Mrs. Arroyo as 
Justice chief after Hernando Perez had resigned.

Before Soriquez's designation, rumors that Secretary Joey Lina of the 
Department of Interior and Local Government would be sacked from the post 
and instead become as permanent DPWH chief while Secretary Leandro Mendoza 
of the Department of Transportation and Communications vowed. (Tribune)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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