Vic Rodriguez steps down as Executive Secretary

Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez has resigned, Malacañang Palace has confirmed.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles confirmed Rodriguez’s resignation in a tweet.

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Over the weekend, Rodriguez posted on his Facebook page that he had asked permission from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr to step down from his post to attend to his young family.

“There is nothing more rewarding than answering the call to serve the country, a rare privilege not extended to all but was given to me by the President, His Excellency Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. The work of an Executive Secretary is a 24/7 job with myriad topics expected to be attended to every day. It demands a sense of urgency which essentially requires almost all of a public servant’s time to ensure that services are met and delivered,” he wrote.

“Equally valuable, however, is to witness firsthand your young family grow and evolve into how every parent would wish them to become and they most need me too.”

With Rodriguez ending his stint in the position after less than three months, his term is the shortest for an executive secretary in recent years.

Rodriguez’ resignation comes amid questions about his role in the recent sugar importation fiasco, with the Senate blue ribbon committee currently conducting an inquiry into the unauthorized importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

Lawmakers invited Rodriguez to appear before the committee to answer questions about Sugar Order No. 4, which granted the importation of the sugar as signed by Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian. That prompted Malacañang to deny that President Marcos Jr, who also sits as agriculture secretary, had approved the order, leading to the resignation of Sebastian, as well as sugar regulatory administrator Hermenegildo Serafica.

Rodriguez informed the committee that he would only be able to answer through written letters on the president’s instructions, prompting the committee to issue a subpoena.

While Rodriguez was later cleared of his involvement in the sugar importation mess, the Senate minority concluded that he was “not entirely blameless.”

Rodriguez, who also served as Marcos Jr’s spokesman during his presidential campaign, will continue to work for the president as his chief of staff. Angeles confirmed that the president signed Administrative Order No. 1 over the weekend, creating a new position for Rodriguez under the Office of the President and retaining his Cabinet-member rank.