MANILA, Philippines - Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential bet Gilberto Teodoro has resigned as chairman of the administration party.
Teodoro said his resignation takes effect immediately so he can focus on his campaign.
"Effective immediately, I am resigning as chairman of the party so that I can focus all my efforts campaigning for the presidency," he said in his letter to the party's national executive committee.
Teodoro noted the party needs a chairman who can respond on a 24/7 basis to the needs of its candidates.
However, Teodoro said he remains a member of the ruling party and its "official" presidential bet.
In an interview with Ces Drilon on ANC's Rundown on Tuesday, Teodoro said his decision to leave the party should not be seen as a step toward withdrawing from the presidential race.
"Definitely, I'm pursuing my candidacy," he said.
The former defense chief said the move was necessary so he can "devote full-time to his candidacy" as he attempts to win the presidency.
After the local campaigns began March 26, Teodoro said he realized that he should not be distracted by the concerns of the party's 18,000 other candidates.
"It's a step I took to ensure that I give my best possible shot at the presidency," he added.
Francis Manglapus, secretary-general of Lakas-Kampi-CMD, said Teodoro had previously discussed the issue of leaving the party's top post.
Manglapus said it would be better for the party to have a full-time chairman since Teodoro is too busy hopping from one place to another.
He said it would be up to the Lakas-Kampi-CMD national executive committee to choose the next party chief.