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Sec. Mar to finish urgent tasks, ensure smooth transition before stepping down

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II on Monday tendered his resignation to President Benigno S. Aquino III as department head, two days after he was endorsed by the Chief Executive as the Administration’s standard bearer in the 2016 presidential elections.
Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. in a statement said, however, that the President convinced Roxas to stay on, citing the need for the DILG Secretary to tackle several urgent concerns at the agency and ensure a proper transition in the DILG before stepping down.
In an interview earlier during the 111th anniversary of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, President Aquino said that he would “prevail on him [Roxas] to stay in the post a little longer to finish a lot of the things that are being done.”
The President added that the welfare of the country would be prejudiced if he allowed Roxas to leave at this point.
“Marami talagang trabaho doon na; again, ang konsepto huwag nating patagalin ‘yung pagdurusa ng ating mga kababayan.”
(There is still a lot of work to be done there [DILG]; again, the concept is not to prolong the suffering of our people.)
The Chief Executive cited the equipment and facilities upgrade efforts in the Philippine National Police, as well as issues concerning informal settlers in Metro Manila.
In his resignation letter, Roxas thanked the President, saying “it has been my highest honor as a public servant to have been part of your team and to have journeyed Daang Matuwid with you.”
Roxas also commended the President for bringing “the country to the mountaintop,” and extended his gratitude to the Chief Executive for his endorsement.
“I take this opportunity once more to sincerely thank you for your trust and confidence in me to carry on the fight for Daang Matuwid… I will not let you or our bosses down.”
On Friday, President Aquino endorsed the presidential candidacy of Roxas, saying he was certain the DILG Secretary was “more than capable” to continue the reforms of the current government, and could be trusted to put the “country before self.”
“We will go with whom we can be certain will continue the Straight Path. And I believe that person is none other than Mar Roxas.”

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.