STRAIGHT TALK

BY ED LIBRANDA

THE RESIGNATION OF ATTY VIC RODRIGUEZ
IS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Often, the position of the Executive Secretary to the President is dubbed the "Little President" and is almost akin to the position of Chief of Staff, a position that the presidential legal counsel and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had given his advice to President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos when Atty Vic Rodriguez handed his resignation as executive secretary to the President. The chief of presidential legal counsel said he "smell fishy" with the draft of the position of chief of staff.


With his resignation, Atty Rodriguez also handed a draft to PBMM, describing the duties and responsibilities of a chief of staff, a position Atty Rodriguez would occupy should PBMM accept his resignation as Executive Secretary.


The Marcos administration is only in its infancy, barely three months since July 1, 2022, and we have seen a brouhaha in the failed sugar import by the department, which PBMM has decided to occupy temporarily amidst the smuggling issues emanating from the Department of Agriculture.


It all started when Atty Rodriguez handed a memorandum to newly appointed Dr. Leocardio Sebastian, Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, adding more duties and responsibilities to his current position, one of which was to sign "Sugar Order No. 4 on behalf of the President.


On August 10, 2022, the day SO-4 was released, Atty Trixie Angeles, in her capacity as Press Secretary and as a lawyer, characterized Sugar Order no. 4 as "illegal."
Undersecretary Sebastian took an extra step when he signed the SO-4 on behalf of the President, who sits as chairman of the Sugar Regulatory Board of the Sugar Regulatory Administration.


Sen. Francis Tolentino convened the Blue Ribbon Committee to investigate the sugar mess. Rodriguez protected the Office of the President, which has nothing to do with the failed SO-4.


President  Bongbong Marcos accepted the resignation, not only the undersecretary but also the administrator of the SRA, and instead appointed SRA's set of board of officers.


Today, Monday, September 19, 2022, Atty Vic Rodriguez is appointed Chief of Staff by President Bongbong. Rodriguez would be spared being confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA), where the President's critics and detractors would have a feast day embarrassing him and Rodriguez

 ED LIBRANDA.