Roxas to take leave as Liberal Party president-A A +A
Saturday, September 29, 2012
INTERIOR Secretary Manuel Roxas II said Saturday he will take a leave of absence as president of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) to avoid being accused of conflict of interest amid the upcoming midterm elections next year.
In an interview after President Benigno Aquino III swore him into office in a ceremony in Malacanang, Roxas said on Monday he will submit his letter to Aquino, being the LP chairman, regarding his intention to take a leave of absence.
"The PNP (Philippine National Police) will play a big role (in the elections). The PNP will be a deputized arm of the Comelec (Commission on Elections), so to erase doubts, I decided and I requested the President that I will take a leave of absence, and he accepted it," he said.
The PNP is under the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
When he starts as DILG chief on Monday, Roxas said he will first assess the needs of the department, one of the local government units and one for peace and security.
The new DILG secretary underscored the importance of making sure that necessary structures are there for the department to function effectively.
Roxas said the primary instruction of the President is to ensure peace and security in the country particularly as the government prepares for the midterm elections in May next year.
"So we will prioritize the fight against criminality. And parallel to this is to strengthen our LGUs because they are on the frontline in bringing the government's programs (to the people)," he said.
Roxas replaced late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo who perished in a plane crash last month.
The new DILG chief assured that he will continue Robredo's programs on LGUs that ensure transparency in their transactions to gain public trust in government at least at the local level.
It is necessary because the National Government allots around P300 billion to local government units each year, and they must be held accountable to the people on how they spend their money, he explained.
During the oath taking ceremony, Roxas was accompanied by his wife, television anchor Korina Sanchez, his son and other relatives. Robredo's widow, Leni, was also present during the event. (SDR/Sunnex)