MANILA – Senators have described the resignation of Vice President Jejomar Binay from the Cabinet of President Benigno Aquino III is inevitable due to the proximity of the 2016 elections.
”It came as a surprise for me, but I think it was inevitable,” Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito said on Tuesday during the Kapihan sa Senado.
Ejercito, an ally of Binay in the opposition, said other government officials seeking election in 2016 should also quit the Cabinet “out of delicadeza.”
”Others should follow out of delicadeza because they might be using government machinery and resources for their own personal gains,” Ejercito said.
Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero said Binay’s resignation should come as no surprise since it happened at a time when political parties and prospective candidates gear up for the 2016 general elections.
“This signals the so-called gun start of the 2016 elections where appointed officials begin resigning from their appointive posts in order to concentrate on their respective campaigns,” Escudero said.
Last Monday, Binay tendered his resignation as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and presidential adviser on OFW (overseas Filipino Workers) concerns.
”Probably he wanted to focus on his political campaign,” Escudero, who supported Binay’s vice presidential bid in 2010, said.
Last week, Senate President Franklin Drilon said at least six Cabinet members will resign in October in time for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC).
Drilon said among those who may run are Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francisco Tolentino, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
Escudero expressed hope the President will immediately appoint Binay’s replacement at HUDCC in order to ensure that public service is not disrupted.