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Philippine foreign secretary expected to resign to support B. Aquino

2009-09-22 19:23 BJT

MANILA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo is expected to tender his resignation following his pronouncement of support for the presidential bid of opposition candidate Sen. Beningo "Noynoy" Aquino III, a ranking official said on Tuesday.

Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who is also Lakas-Kampi CMD, said in a radio interview that Cabinet secretaries cannot have positions that run counter to that of the Chief Executive as they are considered to be alter egos of the latter.

"The Cabinet members of President Arroyo are the alter-egos of the president. So if we cannot support the choice of the president, the only honorable thing to do is to leave the cabinet," Bello said.

He described Romulo as "a very respectable, very credible, very effective member of the cabinet."

"I have very high respect for him. I know when he makes a decision it, is for a very good reason and I know that he knows what he will do after he makes his statement....Knowing him, I think that Sec. Romulo will do what is proper under the circumstances," Bello said.

When asked, Bello said there is no need to conduct a "loyalty check" among cabinet members since they know what they have to do as alter egos of the Chief Executive.

"When we became cabinet members, we knew that we are alter egos of the president. We mirror the president, so we cannot have a position different from the President. We don't have to be told to resign before doing such and such. There's no need. We know that if we cannot support the President, we have no other honorable choice except to leave the Cabinet," he said.

Asked about Commissioner Jaime Jacob of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) who said he will resign to support Aquino, Bello said: "This is a free democratic country. We respect the decision of Commissioner jacob. I'm glad he resigned first before he made any political plans."

Romulo had earlier said that he would support Aquino, a statement that was confirmed by his daughter Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, in a radio interview.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: Xinhua