political parties

Marcos party kicks out former executive secretary Vic Rodriguez

Bea Cupin
Marcos party kicks out former executive secretary Vic Rodriguez

ES RODRIGUEZ FACES BLUE RIBBON HEARING: Shortly after members of the Blue Ribbon Committee voted to subpoena him, Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez appears before the panel Tuesday, September 6, 2022 to clarify what transpired before the controversial issuance of the Sugar Order No. 4 (SO4). Rodriguez had missed two consecutive hearings despite the Senate panel's invitations. "I would like to sincerely apologize if you have to resort to the issuance of the subpoena to compel my presence today," Rodriguez told the senators. "I have no intention whatsoever to disrespect the honorable members of the Senate, and the Senate as an institution," he added. The Blue Ribbon Committee is probing the fiasco on SO4, which would have allowed the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar into the country. (Senate PRIB Photos)

Senate PRIB

Partido Federal ng Pilipinas says Rodriguez was expelled for a number of reasons, including 'incompetence as a public servant,' and 'conduct inimical to the interests of the party'

MANILA, Philippines – The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) – the political party of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – has expelled former executive secretary Vic Rodriguez from the party.

“Rodriguez was expelled from the PFP for his incompetence as a public servant, conduct inimical to the interests of the party, abuse and breach of trust and confidence reposed on him by the President and the party, abandonment and disloyalty,” PFP said in a statement to media dated Tuesday, November 22.

PFP expelled Rodriguez – the party’s executive vice president – on November 11, but made it public only on November 22, or 11 days later.

Special Assistant to the President Anton Lagdameo is the new PFP executive vice president, the party said.

The PFP said Marcos had no hand in the party’s decision-making process, but he also did not object to the decision to expel Rodriguez.

“The President took no part in this decision, but was informed of the disciplinary action of the Party against respondent, and he (the President) offered no objection. The decision stated that the President will not leave the PFP and join another party, but instead will strengthen the party,” the PFP said.

Where are the appointments?

What is the root of Rodriguez’s expulsion? Not recommending the appointment of party officials, according to the PFP.

In their statement, the PFP said party members from the Bangsamoro had accused Rodriguez of corruption, filling two complaints that he supposedly subsequently ignored.

The party concluded that not a single PFP official was recommended for appointment.

“Hence, the party found no useful purpose to maintain its association with respondent,” said PFP.

Typically, it’s the executive secretary – or the “Little President” – who vets appointments before they reach the president. While it’s not unusual to see presidential party mates appointed to key government posts, it’s not a requirement.

Speaking to ABS-CBN, Rodriguez said he did not mind his expulsion from the party. But he did mind the PFP “washing dirty linens in public,” referring to their disclosure of what he said was an “internal matter.”

Rodriguez also said he was “happy being disloyal,” referring to the PFP’s gripe: that he did not recommend the appointment of party members.

“I’d rather be faithful and loyal to the 31.6 million Filipinos who voted for President Bongbong Marcos rather than pagbigyan ang kapritso ng isang partido o ng iilang mga opisyal nito (submit to the caprices of one party or some of its officials),” he said.

PFP announced Rodriguez’s expulsion as Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin faced the Commission on Appointments – an opportunity that was never granted to Rodriguez who only served the Marcos administration for less than three months.

Rodriguez left his post in late September 2022, supposedly on amicable terms. Back then, Rodriguez said he wanted to spend more time with his family as the motivation behind his resignation. But his resignation also came at the heels of a sugar importation controversy.

At the time of his resignation, he also claimed that he would still be part of the Marcos administration as presidential chief of staff – an assertion backed by then-press secretary Trixie Angeles. No such appointment was made, while Angeles had also since resigned from her post. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.