MANILA — Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on Tuesday denied the existence of an administrative order naming his predecessor Victor Rodriguez as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s new chief of staff.
Last month, Rodriguez announced that he would be working as the president’s Chief of Staff after he stepped down as executive secretary.
The Office of the Press Secretary had also issued a statement last month saying that Marcos had signed Administrative Order No. 1, but thumbed down a draft special order which grants additional powers for his new chief of staff.
“Kapag mayroon talaga niyan, mayroon na rin kayong kopya pero wala kayong nakikita so it’s up to you to deduce kung nagtatago kami o hindi,” Bersamin told reporters.
“Ang totoo niyan kung mayroon talaga ay ibibigay kung mayroon but up to now wala pang lumilitaw na ganiyan,” he said.
(If there is really a document like that, you would have had a copy, but you haven't seen anything, so it’s up to you to deduce if we are hiding or not. The truth is we will release the document if there is one, but up to now, none has surfaced.)
Bersamin urged reporters “not to belabor the issue.”
“We have to respect also the privacy of the former executive secretary. He is entitled to it,” Bersamin said.
“I was appointed as Executive Secretary. I think that should put the matter to rest,” he said.
A longtime Marcos aide, Rodriguez stepped down from the "Little President" post in September, saying he wanted to spend time with his family.
His resignation came weeks after he was tagged in a controversy on the Sugar Regulatory Administration's supposedly illegal go signal for imports.
It was Rodriguez who "issued the order to create an importation plan," for sugar, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a Palace briefing on Aug. 11. But the Palace later defended Rodriguez and said he had nothing to do with the botched importation plan.
Malacañang on Tuesday announced Cruz-Angeles also resigned from her post due to health reasons.