Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Monday night confirmed that Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd has officially submitted his resignation letter to President Benigno Aquino 3rd but that the President asked Roxas to stay.
“According to Executive Secretary [Paquito] Ochoa [Jr.], Secretary Roxas tendered a resignation letter today. However, he has been asked by the President to complete urgent tasks and ensure a smooth transition at DILG,” Coloma said in a text message.
DILG is the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Ochoa also confirmed Roxas’ resignation.
In his resignation letter, the Executive Secretary said Roxas thanked the President, saying,
“It has been my highest honor as a public servant to have been part of your team and to have journeyed daang matuwid [straight path]with you.”
He also commended the President for bringing “the country to the mountaintop,” and extended his gratitude to Aquino for his endorsement.
“I take this opportunity once more to sincerely thank you for your trust and confidence in me to carry on the fight for daang matuwid… I will not let you or our bosses down.”
Earlier in the day, the President indicated that he will not accept Roxas’ resignation just yet.
Speaking to reporters, Aquino said he will first ask Roxas to complete his unfinished work before stepping down as head of the DILG.
“I might prevail on him to stay in the post a little longer to finish a lot of the things that are being done,” he added.
Roxas’s unfinished work, the President said, includes the Philippine National Police (PNP) equipment upgrade and the resettlement of informal settlers in Metro Manila.
“There are many unresolved tasks there which are hinged on the idea that the people should not suffer much longer. I like him to finish a lot of things that can be finished before leaving the post and having the transition period,” he added.
While he wants Roxas to keep his position, Aquino revealed that he already has several names in mind for the next DILG chief.
Aquino made the statement while Roxas was reportedly bidding farewell to officials of the PNP and the DILG.
Roxas had said he will submit his resignation letter to Aquino on Monday afternoon.
Calls for Roxas to vacate his posts came after he was endorsed by President Aquino to be the administration party’s standard-bearer in next year’s elections.
Roxas is likely to run against Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is being investigated by a special prosecutor over graft allegations, and the popular Sen. Grace Poe, who had also sought Aquino’s endorsement.
According to recent pre-election presidential preference polls, Roxas trails Poe and Binay.
Poe was reportedly deadset in gunning for the presidency after recent survey results revealed that she was pulling away. She was among the three considered by Aquino as the administration party’s standard- bearer.
Roxas was Aquino’s running mate in 2010 but lost to then outgoing Makati City Mayor Binay in the vice presidential race.]