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DepEd exec denies corruption allegation

MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Department of Education has criticized alleged efforts from within the agency to discredit her following a dispute on funding for “private activities” of certain DepEd employees.

Ana Marie Calapit, finance director at the DepEd central office, slammed the circulation of news articles about her previous stint as an executive of the Taguig City University (TCU) by DepEd personnel in what she described as an effort to discredit her.

The news article in question, published in The STAR over 10 years ago, detailed interviews from then-TCU executives and students accusing Calapit of insubordination, abuse and corruption.

Writing to The STAR for clarification, Calapit said the accusations were not true, adding that she was a victim of a supposed proxy war in the TCU between then-outgoing mayor Sigfrido Tiñga and his successor Lani Cayetano.

“I was an appointee of (Mayor) Lani Cayetano, but it did not sit well with them (other executives). It was basically a political game because it was a takeover. Supposedly, the administration of the university was to be turned over to the winning mayor, but that’s not what happened,” Calapit said in an interview.

“So that was a battle between two mayors. One who won and the one who lost. We were the pawns,” she added, referring to appointees of Tiñga and Cayetano.

Calapit also denied allegations of abuse and corruption levied against her back then, saying she had no hand in the collection of student fees as she had not yet assumed her post at the time.

“My official appointment was in August 2010. I assumed the TCU post days before September that year, when the enrollment and collection of fees had ended,” she said.

In subsequent news stories published on developments at the TCU, Calapit spoke out against the allegedly anomalous financial policies her predecessors implemented.

The STAR has sought clarification on the matter from Cayetano, but has yet to receive a response.

Calapit lamented that the news stories were being used against her to paint her as a “corrupt and abusive official who does not deserve to be in the agency.”