DAVAO City Councilor Wendel Avisado announced Tuesday his resignation in accepting his appointment as the Deputy Secretary General of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
Avisado said President Benigno Aquino III appointed him to the position August 17 through the recommendation of Vice President Jejomar Binay, chairman of HUDCC.
"I have accepted the opportunity to serve the Filipino nation and wholeheartedly take on this higher call of public service," Avisado said in a privilege speech.
"I am now officially tendering my resignation as City Councilor of the 1st District of Davao City effective upon my official assumption to duty as Deputy Secretary General of the HUDCC," he said.
Avisado said he took his oath of office as Deputy Secretary General of the HUDCC in Malacañang on Monday afternoon before the President.
"It was VP (Vice President Jejomar) Binay who requested me to join him in serving the country through HUDCC as he truly believes that I can serve a wider sector of the people in our country including our beloved city," Avisado said.
Avisado said it took him time to accept the position because he never thought he would be serving the National Government again after his seven-year sting as regional director of the Department of Interior and Local Government in the early 1990s.
"I talked to my family. The people of the first district who voted for me as their no. 1 councilor will understand. I talked to my brothers and sisters, some leaders of my political party, the PDP-Laban, my closest friends particularly Attorney Tonying Llamas and Engr. Louie Jacinto."
"I talked to my fraternal brother, former city mayor and now Vice Mayor Rody Duterte, who similarly requested me to be his city administrator. He said that it was okay as it is part of 'moving on'. Most importantly, I talked to my boss, Attorney Chito Ayala and his son Mike," Avisado said.
Avisado also said he did not apply for the position. It was Binay who worked for his appointment.
He did pray a lot to make the right choice.
"I wish to assure you however na ang kabilin-bilinan sa akin ni VP Binay ay huwag na huwag ko po kayong iiwanan at pababayaan," he said.
He said Binay acknowledges a debt of gratitude to Dabawenyos and told Avisado that his priority should remain to be Davao.
Avisado said Binay had requested him to work under him as early as during elections.
Meanwhile, City Mayor Sara Duterte on Monday said she as the city executive has the power to appoint the city councilor to replace Avisado but chose not to elaborate as the matter then was not yet clarified.
Avisado added his political party will endorse soon a name to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and to President Aquino to approve as his replacement.
After his speech, a recess was called by Acting Vice Mayor Councilor Rachel Zozobrado, who took the position left by Councilor Karlo Bello as he was appointed OIC City Mayor following City Mayor Sara Duterte and Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's respective leave of absence.
Councilor Melchor Quintain also announced that in next week's session, he would file a resolution congratulating Avisado for his new position.
After his service in the DILG, Avisado served as city councilor in 1998 to 2002 then as city administrator for six years. (Jade C. Zaldivar)