Romualdez: Letter form of resignation

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MANILA -- Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said Tuesday that the letter Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II had asked him to write may be “one form of resignation” and was advised by his lawyer not to write it.


In an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990AM Tuesday, Romualdez said that in the letter that would be addressed to President Benigno Aquino III, Roxas instructed him to write: “I am not able to discharge the functions of the city government or even as mayor”.

Romualdez said that when he asked the opinion of his legal counsel, Alex Avisado, he was told to be careful as it might be a letter similar to what former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada wrote, which was interpreted by the Supreme Court “as one form of resignation.”

“And so I was advised not to do that,” said Romualdez, who won a third term opposite Liberal Party candidate Bem Noel, the former An-Waray representative, in the May 2012 polls.

Romualdez and Roxas were reported not to be on speaking terms because of disagreements over relief efforts and the interior department’s initiative to take over the devastated city.

Aquino Roxas and Romualdez met in Taclobanon Sunday night behind closed doors, quietly sealing a partnership between Task Force Yolanda and the leadership of the local government that could bolster relief efforts for typhoon survivors.

Saying that his primary concern is the welfare of the people of Tacloban, Romualdez said he even asked Roxas if he was becoming a hindrance to relief efforts for victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda”.

“I asked the Secretary. Am I a hindrance? Am I hindering the support or help of the national government? He said no,” Romualdez said.

“So what’s the use of that letter? My point is if the local government is not hindering the efforts of the national government, why is it so complicated? It’s like so much red tape in times of crisis like this,” said Romualdez.

Romualdez said he could have discussed the matter with Aquino when he flew to Tacloban Monday, but didn’t as the issue concerned only himself and was not his priority.

“Because my concern is really the people. And that’s what I want them to attend to. The Tacloban City and the people,” Romualdez said.