Palace Announces Resignations of Press Sec. Trixie Cruz-Angeles and COA Chief Jose Calida
Two key officials from President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s administration have tendered their resignations, as announced today, October 4, in a briefing by newly minted Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin. Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles and Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Jose Calida have each left their positions.
Earlier, Marcos had administered oaths to new appointees and re-appointees, including Bersamin. Among them, Cruz-Angeles and Calida's names were not to be found. Department of Communications and Informations Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy's name was not on the list, as well.
The former was said to have resigned because of "health reasons" while the latter has remained mum on his reasons.
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Coincidently, the former Supreme Court Chief had worked with Cruz-Angeles in the high court when the former press secretary, together with her law partner Wylie Paler, got into trouble after from a complaint of Cleo Dongga-as, a former military officer. Bersamin had concurred with the decision to suspend her back in 2016. Rumored to take Cruz-Angeles' place is Mike Toledo, who was former President Joseph Estrada's press secretary.
Calida, on the other hand, is considered one of the Marcoses' most loyal defenders. He had served as Solicitor General under the Duterte administration before the Marcos camp selected him for the COA post.
The resignations follow a tumultuous first few months for the Marcos cabinet. Apart from dealing with food commodity shortages, inflation, and an all-time weak peso, resignations have plagued the administration.
Atty. Vic Rodriguez resigned from his post as Executive Secretary a few weeks ago amidst the sugar import mess. Insiders say it was a move led by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, who allegedly caught wind of the former secretary consolidating power.
Rodriguez said that he would become the presidential chief of staff soon after, a position that has been defunct for quite some time. Bersamin today, however, refuted those claims by saying that the former Marcos spokesperson is no longer part of the Marcos administration. When asked if there was a post for Rodriguez, Bersamin simply explained: "Wala. We don't even talk about it."
The recent moves could be part of the new Marcos government's efforts to "rightsize" its offices. Nevertheless, the president still hasn't chosen secretaries for the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture.