MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has yet to formally appoint resigned Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez as his chief of staff, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said there is no official document delegating Rodriguez as Presidential Chief of Staff (PCS).
“Wala (There is none). We do not even talk about it,” Bersamin told select Palace reporters, when asked about the new designation of his predecessor.
The clarification was made after Rodriguez on Sept. 17 announced his decision to step down from office to assume his new role as PCS.
Also on Sept. 17, the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) said Marcos signed Administrative Order (AO) 1, creating the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff (OPCOS) which will be under the direct supervision of the Office of the President (OP).
The OPCOS shall have the primary function of supervising and ensuring the “efficient and responsive” day-to-day operational support to the Presidency to enable the President to focus on strategic national concerns, the OPS earlier said, citing AO 1.
The OPS added that Rodriguez “will immediately” assume his new position as PCS, which will have the rank and emoluments of a Cabinet secretary
Malacañang, however, has yet to release a copy of AO 1.
Bersamin said he has yet to receive a copy of the document.
“Kung meron talaga, ililitaw natin kung meron. Pero up to now, wala pang lumilitaw na ganiyan (If there is really [AO 1], we will make it public. However, we have yet to see it up to now),” he said.
“You know, we also have to respect the privacy of the former Executive Secretary. He’s entitled to it. And to be fair to him, as well as to the President, let us not belabor that issue kasi (because) that decision has been made. I was appointed Executive Secretary. I was sworn into office. I think that should put that matter to rest,” Bersamin added.
Rodriguez was Marcos’ long-time chief of staff and spokesperson before he was nominated as Executive Secretary in May.
Bersamin, on the other hand, was named as Executive Secretary on Sept. 27. (PNA)