MANILA, Philippines – After announcing he is taking a leave from his post as Liberal Party (LP) president, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Saturday, September 29, disclosed he could be replaced by either Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya or Budget Secretary Butch Abad.
Roxas announced his leave after he took his oath as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) before President Benigno Aquino III.
He said under party rules, the executive vice president (EVP) should assume the post of party president in case of any vacancy. The EVP, however, was the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who died in a plane crash last August.
Roxas said the party’s secretary general, Abaya, will then move to the position of EVP, making him eligible to occupy the post of LP president.
“It could be Secretary Jun Abaya who will assume the duties and responsibilities or it may be our vice president also, Secretary Butch Abad. And the party will make that announcement accordingly,” Roxas explained, referring to a crucial event on Monday, October 1, when the LP will reportedly announce its senatorial line-up for 2013.
In a news conference after his oath-taking, Roxas said he took a leave as LP president to avoid conflicts of interest.
Roxas said Aquino, LP’s chair, was initially surprised with his move to temporarily part with the LP.
“Pero nag-usap kaming muli at nagpapasalamat ako at tinanggap niya na mas mabuti, mas madali, mas magaan para sa paggagawa ko ng trabaho na hiwalayin,” Roxas said. (But we discussed this again, and I am thankful that he saw that it will be better, easier, and lighter in performing my duty if ties are temporarily cut.)
The new DILG chief will have to deal with local leaders, forming relationships that could be made complicated by the 2013 elections. The LP, which he served as president, is fielding a senatorial slate that could well be a litmus test for the Aquino presidency. – Rappler.com