TWO APPOINTEES of Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. have resigned after lawmakers bypassed their nomination last week, according to the presidential palace.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles resigned for health reasons, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevarra told reporters on Tuesday.
Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Jose C. Calida, ex-President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s solicitor general, had also quit his post, Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin told reporters.
“He tendered his resignation for many reasons but it’s up to him to later explain to you or publish to you what were his reasons, but we accepted that with regret and we commended him for his patriotism for serving for a short while,” he told reporters based on a transcript sent on Viber.
Ms. Angeles confirmed her resignation via Viber message, but declined to say what her sickness was.
Mr. Marcos on Tuesday reappointed 10 Cabinet members whose nominations the Commission on Appointments bypassed last week.
“Unfortunately, Chairman Calida was not one of those reappointed,” the Commission on Audit said in an e-mail. “The commission will wait for the president’s appointment of a new chairman for CoA.”
Ms. Angeles said she did not know whether her replacement had been named.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bersamin said his predecessor Victor D. Rodriguez is no longer part of the Cabinet.
“He is no longer a member of the Cabinet,” he told reporters, based on a transcript sent on Viber. “You must recall that he resigned for a specific reason and that reason is well published to you.”
Mr. Rodriguez earlier said he had resigned as executive secretary but would stay on as presidential chief of staff, a new position created through an administrative order signed by the president.
Mr. Bersamin, a former chief justice, said he wasn’t aware of such order. “We have to respect privacy of the former executive secretary because he is entitled to it.”
Political analysts have said the reappointment of Mr. Rodriguez, a long-time aide of Mr. Marcos, to a new position was an act of self-preservation.
Mr. Marcos led the mass oath-taking of Cabinet members who he had reappointed.
They were Migrant Workers department Secretary Susan V. Ople, Finance chief Benjamin E. Diokno, Public Works Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Trade chief Alfredo E. Pascual, Social Welfare Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo and Transportation Secretary Jamie J. Bautista.
Also reappointed were Science and Technology chief Renato U. Solidum, Jr., Energy Secretary Raphael M. Lotilla, Socioeconomic chief Arsenio M. Balisacan and Human Settlements head Jose Rizalino L. Acuzar, the palace said on Facebook.
Mr. Bersamin also took his oath before the president.
Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John E. Uy and Election Commissioner Nelson J. Celis were not reappointed.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it was waiting for confirmation of Mr. Celis’ reappointment to the agency, Comelec Chairman George Erwin M. Garcia told reporters in a Viber message.
Mr. Uy is in Bucharest, where the Philippines is vying for reelection in the International Telecommunication Union Council, the agency said in a statement.
Senate President and Commission on Appointments Chairman Juan Miguel F. Zubiri last week said they failed to tackle the appointments of the 15 for lack of time.
Lawmakers went on a monthlong break on Oct. 1.
Under the law, presidential appointees must be approved by the Commission on Appointments, which is composed of senators and congressmen. The president can reappoint them numerous times until they get confirmed. — John Victor D. Ordoñez