MANILA - Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Tuesday he is ready to resign if he has lost the trust of President Aquino.
"I am ready to leave if the President no longer trusts me. I serve at the pleasure of the President. If I will be replaced, thank you. If I will not be replaced, thank you," Gazmin told reporters.
He also said rumors could be a way to discredit him and drive a wedge between him and the Aquino family.
"They would want to break the relationship most probably because I am identified with the military and at the same time, I am somehow identified with the Aquinos. If you want to break the relationship between the Aquinos and myself or myself and the Armed Forces, discredit me," he said.
Rumors that Gazmin will be replaced started after he mistakenly blamed China for putting up concrete blocks at the Scarborough Shoal.
Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, however, said Gazmin “continues to enjoy the President's full trust and confidence.”
Gazmin served as custodian of the President's father, the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, when he was detained during the time of the Marcos dictatorship. He later took Ninoy as a principal sponsor to his wedding.
He served as commander of the Presidential Security Group during the presidency of Corazon Aquino, mother of the current president.
Gazmin said he was surprised when he read about the reports that he is on the way out. He said the rumors could have been sown by people interested in his job.
He said he and President Aquino did not discuss his possible removal while they were together in Bohol to help victims of the October 15 earthquake.