Vic Rodriguez resigns as executive secretary, to stay on as Marcos' chief-of-staff

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Vic Rodriguez resigns as executive secretary, to stay on as Marcos' chief-of-staff
Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson of presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr, speaks during a press conference at the campaign headquarters in Manila on May 11, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines (Corrected 6:34 p.m.) — Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez has resigned from his position after securing permission from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., but is staying on as his chief of staff, Malacañang confirmed Saturday.

In a statement on Facebook, Rodriguez said his family needed him as much as the Marcos administration does.

“The work of an Executive Secretary is a 24/7 job with myriad topics expected to be attended to every day. It demands a sense of urgency which essentially requires almost all of a public servant’s time to ensure that services are met and delivered,” Rodriguez said.

He continued, “Equally valuable, however, is to witness firsthand your young family grow and evolve into how every parent would wish them to become and they most need me too.”

RELATED: Who's who: The Marcos Cabinet

Rodriguez’ resignation comes on the heels of the sugar importation mess which he got dragged into.

While a majority of senators who investigated the botched importation absolved Rodriguez from any wrongdoing, the Senate minority bloc said he was not totally faultless largely due to his failure to respond to queries by agriculture officials regarding the planned sugar importation.

Rodriguez was Marcos' spokesperson in his poll protest against former Vice President Leni Robredo and during his presidential campaign.

Rodriguez’ resignation as executive secretary creates a vacancy for the position, for which Malacañang said “there are names now being considered” and “under the process of vetting by the Office of the President.”

Revived office

But the former “little president” is still with the Marcos administration as chief of staff — a position that was first created during the presidency of Joseph Estrada in 2000 and later on abolished during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2008.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said the position of Presidential Chief of Staff was created by Administrative Order No. 1, which was signed by Marcos “over the weekend” and took effect immediately. As of writing, this document is still not available on the Official Gazette website.

Angeles said a draft special order that sought additional functions for Rodriguez’ office was disapproved by Marcos based on the recommendation of Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile.

Quoting the administrative order, Angeles said the primary function of the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff is to supervise and ensure “the efficient and responsive day-to-day operational support to the presidency to enable the president to focus on strategic national concerns.”

“In a nutshell, the OPCOS will serve as the coordination mechanism of the Office of the President. It will be in-charge of the president’s security monitoring system, which shall be responsible for providing regular situation reports to the president on real-time basis,” Angeles said.

She added that Rodriguez’ office will also supervise and closely coordinate with the Presidential Management Staff, presidential advisers and assistants.

RELATED: Marcos names close friend Lagdameo as his special assistant

The administrative order also provides for the chief of staff to have the rank and salary of a Cabinet secretary, Angeles said.

She added that staffing for Rodriguez’ new office will come from abolished agencies such as the Office of the Cabinet Secretary and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

[Editor's note: An earlier version of this article reported that the position of chief of staff was created by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in 2003. It was created in 2000 and Estrada was ousted from office by the Edsa Dos protests in 2001. This has been corrected.]

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