Morir antes de dimitir is Spanish for people who cling to their posts and would die first before resigning. A resignation is the formal act of giving up or quitting one’s office or position. A resignation can occur when one elected or appointed steps down.
When an employee chooses to leave a position it is considered a resignation, as opposed to termination, which occurs when he involuntarily loses a job. Whether he resigned or was terminated is sometimes debatable. Abdication is the equivalent of resignation of a reigning monarch or pope, or other holder of a non-political, hereditary or similar position.
Boabdil was scolded by his mother, Aixa, in 1492, when in a mountain crag, he looked back at the Granada he had lost: “Weep like a woman for the loss of a kingdom you could not defend as a man!” The spot has become known as El Ultimo Suspiro del Moro. The Last Sigh Of The Moor. At home, my late wife, Dulce, put a sign “The best Man for the Job is a Woman.” I considered myself told. Peace, man. Llora como mujer . . . , of which PDI columnist Johnny Mercado reminded us a few days ago, was OK in 1492 and even in our youth but may be deemed sexist today.
A resignation is a voluntary personal decision to exit a position, though outside pressure exists in many cases. For example, Nixon resigned from the office of President of the U.S. in 1974 following the Watergate scandal; he was almost certain to have been impeached by the U.S. Congress, given the widespread popular outrage.
Resignation can be used politically, as in July 2005 when ten cabinet officials resigned in order to put pressure on morir-antes-de-dimitir GMA to step down over allegations of electoral fraud. (I am for Metro-Manila-Wide-and-Pampanga-Arrest for her, and if visitor Erap would agree, for her to be detained in his place in Tanay.)
Resignation not always accepted
Government officials may tender their resignations, but they are not always accepted. This could be a gesture of confidence in the official, as with US President George W. Bush’s refusal of his Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s twice-offered resignation during the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. Here, PNoy rejected Sec. Ikot Petilla’s resignation but he and his predecessors may had some explanation to do. Until recently, government had shares in Meralco and price hikes could only benefit it in an obvious conflict-of-interest.
For many public figures, primarily departing politicians, resignation is an opportunity to deliver a valedictory speech in which they can explain their exit from office and in many cases deliver a powerful speech which commands much attention.
In academia, in 2006, Harvard president Lawrence Summers resigned after making the provocative suggestion that the underrepresentation of female academics in math and science could be due to factors other than sheer discrimination, such as personal inclination or innate ability.
Our Supreme Court ruled that President Erap had resigned; he was the last one to know (“I did”!!!???). He had thought he had temporarily stepped aside, not down. The SC quite incredibly relied on a diary (not even Erap’s). In the U.S., Nixon wrote a one-sentence letter to the Secretary of State, leading to a regime change.
May one resign irrevocably? Permit me to doubt. A resignation must be accepted lest one open himself to a charge of abandonment under Art. 238 of the Revised Penal Code which criminalizes the “abandonment of office or position – any public officer who, before the acceptance of his resignation, shall abandon his office shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor.”
I filed a bill on resignation believing that it is not a matter of right but must be subjected to certain grounds and procedures, but did not become law. To whom should a Prez or Veep resign? A Supreme Court Justice? A Member of Congress? The head and members of a Constitutional Commish? (Please see my Semestral Report No. 7 dated March 4, 1991.)
The case of GMA is in the Sandiganbayan, which alone can decide her custodial arrangement. Pnoy has nothing to do with it. If we wanted anything done for Erap, our legal team went to the Sandiganbayan. First Detained in Camp Crame, he was moved to Santa Rosa (where Janet Napoles is now), then Veterans Memorial, and finally Resthouse Arrest in Tanay, which he can be asked to lend to GMA, the beneficiary of the resignation that never was.
The bogus Edsa ’01 was the culmination of the yearlong plot of the Arroyos and the generals to take over. Mindanao was not part of it and elected Erap as Prez in 2010 and last May, the nation’s capital also rejected Erap’s bogus resignation and elected him as Mayor.