President accepts Juico’s resignation

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd has accepted the resignation of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Chairman Margarita Juico.

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Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement on Friday Juico’s resignation would take effect “upon formal written acceptance by the
President in accordance with established procedures.”

Coloma said Aquino thanked Juico, who also served the administration of his mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino.

“As an esteemed family friend, President Aquino wishes her well on her decision to end her stint in public service,” Coloma said.

Malacañang did not give any reason for Juico’s resignation, but The Manila Times Chairman Emeritus Dr. Dante A. Ang wrote in the newspaper’s May 8 issue that the PCSO chief “was apparently tired of being the subject of intrigues and dirty politics within the Palace” and “could not wait to leave her post.”

Citing a Times source in the Palace, Ang said Juico handed her irrevocable letter of resignation on Thursday to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

Juico indicated that her resignation takes effect immediately.

Ochoa suggested that her resignation be effective at the end of the month, but Juico was firm.

“Juico is among the first, if not the very first, direct casualty of the politics of convenience.

The President sacrificed her to make way for a member of the Liberal Party who is a political nemesis of the Revilla clan in Cavite, “ Ang wrote.

Ang said the Executive Secretary said the President had promised the PCSO chairmanship to former Imus Mayor and Congressman Ireneo (Ayong) Maliksi. Rumors of Maliksi taking over Juico’s post started to circulate when the former mayor and congressman announced during his birthday celebration in Imus some months ago that he was taking over the charity agency.

But even before that, rumors had been circulating in and out of Malacañang that a group close to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd has been coveting Juico’s post. In one instance, the President chided Juico for not cooperating with Roxas.

Roxas had obviously complained to the President that Juico was withholding documents on Bingo Milyonaryo and other games from him.

Juico explained she could not give Roxas the requested documents because it was not Roxas who had asked for them but someone who claimed he was representing the Interior secretary. And when Juico tried to call Roxas on his mobile phone to verify the request, the secretary would not answer her calls.

She was summoned to the Palace and was scolded by the President. Ang said a source quoted the President as telling Juico, “Roxas is my alter ego, you disrespect him, you disrespect me.”

As early as then, Juico had wanted to resign.

At a news briefing in Malacañang, Coloma denied that politics prompted Juico to resign, saying she just “wants to go back to the private sector.”

“That is not true,” he said, adding that Juico and Aquino are in good terms.
Coloma said he has not received any reports on who will replace Juico.

Juico, who was President Corazon Aquino’s appointments secretary, continued to work for the Aquino family even long after Mrs. Aquino’s term ended in 1992.

Juico stood by the former leader throughout the remaining years of her life as her friend, confidant and co-worker. There were reports that the then-president on her deathbed had asked Juico to “take care of Noynoy [the incumbent president’s nickname].”

During her term at the PCSO, Ang said, Juico brought the office closer to the people, opening satellite clinics at the Lung Center of the Philippines and in the provinces.

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