Why Ping resigned

SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda -

In a prepared statement read for him by Usec. Dante Velasco, DOTC Secretary Ping de Jesus said there is no rift between him and President Aquino. He reiterated his personal loyalty to the Aquino family. He clarified he did not resign for health reasons but felt that he just wants to go back to a quiet and peaceful life.

Many reasons have been given why Jose “Ping” de Jesus suddenly resigned as DOTC Secretary last Monday, without even completing 12 months in office.

The oft reported main reason: President Aquino has sustained and retained LTO Chief Virginia Torres, his shooting buddy, against the recommendations of Sec. Ping de Jesus.

Sec. de Jesus had wanted to finally dispose of the NAIA-3 problem by settling amicably with Fraport and Piatco. President Aquino reportedly refused upon recommendation of Mar Roxas to approve Sec. Ping’s recommendation.

The many PPP projects under the DOTC have not moved. Some are unacted in Malacañang, some in NEDA and some in DOF. Sec. Ping, the action man felt so frustrated, even isolated. He felt Sec. Purisima was intruding too much into his turf. The privatization of LRT and MRT was another contentious issue.

Probably feeling he is no longer effective, he decided to throw in the towel.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, a long time Cabinet Member agreed. “If I were in Ping’s place, I would also have resigned,” he told reporters. No self-respecting Cabinet Member will stomach being overruled by a subordinate and then supported by the President. That’s equivalent to loss of confidence.

After he submitted his resignation to P-Noy Monday afternoon, he told his undersecretaries: “Since my appointment almost a year ago, that’s the only time I was able to talk to the President for 20 minutes.” He has been heard to tell Cabinet Members not to bring him bad news.

Note too, that President Aquino has not been holding Cabinet meetings regularly.

The original Aquino Cabinet had as its stars Ping de Jesus, Bert Romulo, Jose Rene Almendras, Rogelio Singson and Brother Armin Luistro. They constituted the 1st team. Now two are gone.

DOTC Undersecretaries Glicerio Sicat, Dante Velasco, Ruben Reynoso and Asst. Sec. Aristotle Batuhan have also resigned.

*      *      *

DIRE PREDICTION. . . Former DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno, a UP Economics Professor predicts the Aquino Administration will find it hard to meet its 7-8 percent GDP growth target for 2011.  After recording only a 4.9 percent GDP rate for the 1st quarter of 2011 with the 2nd quarter almost over, Diokno said the Administration must register a 9 percent GDP growth rate for the last two quarters to be able to meet its target. But the rainy season has set in and many infrastructure projects cannot be started at this time.

Metrobank has cut its growth forecast for the country for 2011 from 5.7 percent to 5 percent. Metrobank research Director Marc Benitez based his prediction on government underspending, delayed PPP implementation and weak global trade.

DOLE/POEA has reported a decrease in OFW departures. On top of that, the number of returning OFWs from the strife torn Middle East may reach 350,000. BSP also noted a declining trend in OFW remittances.

Malacañang is not worried. It is now claiming investors from Thailand and Brunei will come in.   

*      *      *

SUGAR SMUGGLING. . . BOC Commissioner Angelito Alvarez raided a Meycauayan warehouse and seized 66,500 bags of smuggled sugar. The big question: how did it get out of the Customs zone? Alvarez in TV interviews points to his seizure of smuggled products as proof of his success in the anti-smuggling campaign.

But Customs brokers tell us that for every shipment seized, five or more other similar shipments get through, just by paying P180,000 per container. They insist that many of the seizures are just for show or photo op.

The bottom line, BOC has consistently missed its monthly target collection. The unchecked smuggling is a black mark on the record of DOF Secretary Cesar Purisima.

In a related development, how did these containers of Taiwan made food products slipped through Customs without BFAD approval, a long time requirement for Customs release. The obvious answer: they paid the required P180,000 per container.

*      *      *

SENATORIABLES. . . Preparing to run for the Senate are Congressmen Jackie Enrile (Cagayan); Juan Edgardo Angara (Aurora); Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay (Zambales); Mikey Arroyo (Pampanga) and Imelda Marcos (Ilocos Norte).

Also studying their chances are Governor Luis R. Villafuerte Jr. of Camarines Sur and Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City and DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima.

Returning Senators will be Mar Roxas, Dick Gordon, Jamby Madrigal and Rodolfo Biazon. Gilbert Teodoro insists he is not interested.  

Cong. Manny Pacquiao is underage and is not qualified.

*      *      *

TIDBITS. . . Vice Gov. Mark Leviste told Anthony Taberna of Umagang Kay Ganda program that the fishkill damage has reached 1,800 metric tons, costing P140 million. Major cause, overstacking fish in 14,000 illegal fish cages at Taal Lake. Fishkill hit Anda, Pangasinan, too.

DOTC Sec. Ping de Jesus follows the earlier resignation of Bert Romulo as DFA Secretary. Justice Magdangal Elma also resigned as Presidential Legal consultant.

Sen. Loi Estrada celebrated her birthday at the roof deck of 409 Shaw Boulevard. Vice President Binay led the wellwishers with Deputy Speaker Noli Fuentebella, Cong. Toby Tiangco and members of the Estrada Cabinet led by Jose “Titoy” Pardo. Also present were Len Oreta, Tony and Ching Evangelista, Eric Tagle and BCDA Chairman Tong Payumo. Presidential cousin Tony Boy Cojuangco got the juicy Clark Airport deal, winning over PAL and Cebu Pacific. He’s trying to get NAIA 3, too.

Greetings to Bishop Ted Bacani, Mike Toledo, Fr. Allan Samonte of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Camarin, Caloocan and Rosemarie Guanio.









  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with