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Two DepEd Administrative Officials Resign; Ablan Claims Quitting Not Related to Laptop Scandal

Two DepEd Administrative Officials Resign; Ablan Claims Quitting Not Related to Laptop Scandal

Two officials from the Department of Education, associated with the provision of administrative services, have submitted their resignations. However, an undersecretary has clarified that the decision is unrelated to the ongoing controversy surrounding the department’s laptop purchases.

Undersecretary for Administration Kris Ablan confirmed to that he resigned from his position on April 28. However, he emphasized that his resignation had no connection to the laptop issues or Transpac reports from Rappler. Ablan added that he would eventually address the allegations in the reports to clear his name.

Ablan informed on May 6 that he had stepped down from his position and joined the pool of career officials at the Career Executive Service Board. He is one of the two DepEd officials mentioned in Rappler’s reports on May 1, which exposed unpaid fees to Transpac Cargo Logistics Inc., the contracted logistics partner responsible for distributing DepEd technology and materials across the country.

Another source confirmed that Assistant Secretary Christopher Lawrence Arnuco, who oversees administrative services, has also resigned. DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa did not confirm this information upon’s request.

Last year, the Senate scrutinized DepEd for purchasing allegedly overpriced laptops, resulting in the Senate Blue Committee recommending charges against DepEd officials and others involved in the transaction. Subsequently, DepEd created a separate division dedicated to procurement.

Previously, DepEd’s administration division, led by former undersecretary Alain Pascua, was solely responsible for all procurement-related matters. In February, DepEd confirmed that laptops found at a surplus store in Cebu, not procured by the Department of Budget and Management, were part of the DepEd Computerization Program, an initiative under Pascua’s administration.

Pascua is among the officials the Senate blue ribbon committee recommended for charges related to overpriced laptop procurement. Ablan succeeded Pascua when Vice President Sara Duterte, also the DepEd secretary, took office in 2022.

Other programs managed by the administrative division include the School Building Program, DepEd TV, and DepEd Commons. DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa stated in February that the department would refer to the Office of Solicitor General for evaluation and appropriate action regarding the blue ribbon committee’s recommendation to file criminal and administrative cases against past and present DepEd officials.