Palace orders Aquino appointees to submit courtesy resignations
(Philstar.com) - August 22, 2016 - 7:57pm
MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:32 p.m.)-- Malacañang has directed all presidential appointees to submit their courtesy resignations within seven days to give President Rodrigo Duterte a free hand in his effort to curb corruption in the bureaucracy.
 
The directive was contained in a memorandum circular issued Monday and signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
 
The still unnumbered memorandum circular was issued a day after Duterte declared all appointive posts vacant out of frustration at the persistence of corruption in some agencies. In a press conference on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the order only covers appointees from the past administration.
 
"All presidential appointees are hereby directed to tender their unqualified courtesy resignations within seven calendar days from the date hereof," the memorandum, dated Aug. 22, read.
 
The following officials, however, are not covered by the memorandum:
 
  • Newly-appointed Cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries including presidential advisers or assistants
  • Other officials in the executive department including state universities and colleges and government owned and controlled corporations appointed by Duterte
  • Career officials
  • Members of the judiciary
  • Officials working for offices created by the Philippine Constitution
  • Those whose appointments are being processed or who may be appointed by the president shortly after the memorandum takes effect
 
Presidential appointees in the military and the police "shall be dealt with separately."
 
Appointees were directed to submit their resignations to the heads of their departments or offices. They were also ordered to submit a copy of their resignation letter to the Office of the President through the Office of the Executive Secretary.
 
For state-run firms, courtesy resignations shall be submitted to the departments exercising supervision over them.
 
"Only the president or the executive secretary, by authority of the president, may act on courtesy resignations, taking into consideration the recommendation of the department or agency head concerned and in accordance with existing laws and jurisprudence," the memorandum read.
 
Appointees will continue to report for work and perform their functions until their resignations are acted upon.
 
If Duterte accepts the resignation of the head of an agency or state-run firm, the deputy or the most senior career official shall act as officer-in-charge until a replacement is appointed.
 
Any appointee covered by the memorandum who refuses to resign without a valid reason may be held administratively liable and meted the appropriate penalty.
 
All officials were also reminded "to comply strictly with ethical norms of honesty, integrity, efficiency and fidelity to the people they are sworn to serve and protect."

LTO, LTFRB heads not being asked to resign

Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar clarified that Duterte appointees Land Transportation Office chief Edgar Galvante and Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board chair Martin Delgra III are not being asked to resign. 
 
Duterte said last Sunday that the LTO and LTFRB are still beset with corruption despite his repeated warnings. Andanar said the heads of agencies would submit recommendations on whether the appointees should remain in their posts. 
 
"If they are good , it's up to their heads, secretaries to recommend to (the executive secretary) or (the president) that they should stay," Andanar said.

Editor's note: We initially reported that Galvante and Delgra were being asked to resign. This has been corrected. We regret the error.

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