Cabinet members who plan to run in next year’s election should resign so that they will not be accused of using their positions to advance their candidacy, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th said on Tuesday.
Aquino made the appeal a day after Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd resigned as Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
The senator said other officials in the executive department who are eyeing elective posts next year should follow Roxas’s example and quit.
“At the same time, the work of the agencies they are heading will not be hampered, enabling them to continue their service to the public,” he added.
Among the members of the Cabinet who will reportedly run next year are Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) chief Joel Villanueva, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino.
De Lima, Villanueva, and Tolentino are reportedly joining the Senatorial race while Alcala is planning to seek a local post.
Vice President Jejomar Binay was the first member of the Cabinet to resign.
Senator Francis Escudero, who is reportedly running for a higher position next year, also relinquished his post as chairman of the powerful Senate finance committee and as co-chair of the oversight committee on public expenditure out of “delicadeza.”
Senator Sergio Osmena however said Cabinet officials need not resign this early because they have not yet filed their certificates of candidacy.
“They (possible candidate) are not violating any laws. As far as the Comelec (Commission on Elections) is concerned, they are not candidates until they file they certificates of candidacy in October,” Osmena said.