MANILA (Mabuhay) – Liberal Party stalwarts have criticized calls for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to follow Vice President Jejomar Binay’s move and similarly resign from the Cabinet, saying his expertise is still needed in helping the Aquino administration carry out the necessary projects and reforms.
LP vice chair for political affairs Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice said that unlike Binay, Roxas and other Cabinet officials – who are all allied with President Benigno Aquino III – do not use their positions to campaign even if they have plans of running for higher office.
He said these officials know the right time to quit will be after the President officially announces the names of the administration’s candidates in the 2016 elections.
“They (Cabinet officials) are performing specific important tasks for our government and for our people. There’s a very clear sign when they should step down from their respective posts—and that’s after President Aquino declares them as candidates of the LP and the coalition. They can’t just leave and let this government cram in finding their replacement,” he said in a text message Wednesday.
Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas said Roxas’ role in the Cabinet is particularly important at this time when the government is focused on completing all the needed infrastructure support for local government units nationwide in pursuit of its medium and long-term development agenda.
“There are too many projects which are being implemented that requires the expertise of PNoy’s trusted and reliable Cabinet men like Secretary Roxas. The election is still a year away and he has not even declared his intention to run for any position. I don’t think he needs to resign at this time,” he said.
Treñas, chair of LP’s organizing and membership committee, said Roxas can resign once he declares his candidacy and start coming out with political ads, “just like some prospective candidates” whom he did not name.
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said Roxas had personally given him and other LP stalwarts his assurance at a recent caucus that he will resign immediately after formally announcing his presidential bid.
“We can thus assure the public that Sec. Roxas won’t stay a minute longer in his post the moment he declares his candidacy,” he said.
Binay on Monday tendered his irrevocable resignation from the Cabinet, a move widely seen as his way of officially breaking away from the Aquino administration ahead of the official launch of his political party, the United Nationalist Alliance, on July 1.
He served as presidential adviser for overseas Filipino workers’ affairs, and chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)
Following his resignation, Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito and Aquilino Pimentel III urged other Cabinet officials interested in running next year to leave their posts early so they won’t be accused of using their office’s resources to further their political ambitions. (MNS)