Fajardo quits as deputy presidential spokesman

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2009 06:06 PM | Updated as of Dec 19 2009 02:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Lorelei Fajardo quit her post on Thursday to focus on her new job as presidential assistant for Central Luzon.

Fajardo said she relinquished her post so that she could give her full attention to governance issues in Region 3.

Fajardo's decision came nearly a month after she made a controversial statement that President Arroyo remains friends with the Ampatuans despite allegations that the clan perpetrated the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao last November 23. Her statement that Mrs. Arroyo “would not turn her back on political allies even though they (Ampatuans) were in that situation” was widely criticized by the media.

A Palace spokesman said Fajardo's decision was a "career choice" and that she was not forced to leave over her statement on the President's relationship with the Ampatuans.