(Updated) VICE President Jejomar Binay has left the official family of President Benigno Aquino III, his camp said in a statement Monday.
Binay's spokesperson Joey Salgado said Makati City Representative Abigail Binay personally delivered in Malacañang the Vice President's resignation letter, which was received by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. at 3:55 p.m. Monday.
Aquino later on accepted his vice president's resignation.
No explanation was given for Binay's exit from the Cabinet but Salgado assured in a text message that the Vice President will make a statement "at the proper time."
Binay’s resignation hardly surprised two senators.
Senator Francis Escudero said he respected Binay's decision as the vice president may want to focus on his presidential run in 2016.
“This signals the so-called gun start of the 2016 elections where appointed officials begin resigning from their appointive posts in order to concentrate on their respective campaigns,” Escudero said.
Escudero hoped that Aquino will immediately appoint Binay’s replacement at the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), as well as for other secretaries who were reported to resign due to next year's elections, “so as not to adversely affect the government’s ability to deliver basic services.”
For Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, the Vice President’s resignation was a positive development in the Aquino administration.
“This is a very positive political development. Now, there is no more inconsistency in the ‘Tuwid na Daan’ slogan of the PNoy (Aquino) administration. More importantly, it can now go all-out against Vice President Binay,” the senator said.
Trillanes is one of the senators pushing for Binay's prosecution for corruption in relation to alleged overpriced projects when he was Makati City mayor.
A few months after he assumed office as Vice President in 2010, Binay was appointed Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns and chairman of the HUDCC.
As housing czar, Binay led the key shelter agencies into providing quality and affordable homes to low income and informal settler families (ISFs).
From July 2010 to June 2014, the housing sector was able to provide direct housing assistance to nearly 582,000 low-income and ISFs, according to the Office of the Vice President. (Sunnex)