Latest Stories

DoTC Secretary De Jesus resigns


Jose "Ping" de Jesus

Jose "Ping" de Jesus. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) Citing his desire to return to private life, Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose “Ping” De Jesus will step down from his post on June 30, a year after he assumed office, an official of the Department of Transportation and Communication said Wednesday.

De Jesus “will not change his mind,” said Transportation and Communication Undersecretary Dante M. Velasco. “He will still be available to the President for advice, but as a private citizen.”

“It’s not because of his health. He wants to return to the private sector,” Velasco said, referring to his 76-year-old boss. Velasco said De Jesus revealed that he never intended to stay at the DoTC for more than a year.

Velasco said De Jesus submitted his resignation on Monday afternoon and it was accepted by President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday morning. As late as Tuesday evening, De Jesus dismissed as rumors reports that he had resigned.

“I am serving as long as I am needed. If I am no longer needed, then I will leave,” De Jesus told the Philippine Daily Inquirer late Tuesday evening. Velasco said De Jesus denied reports of his resignation so as not to preempt Malacañang.

De Jesus could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. He is the first Aquino Cabinet member to resign from his post.

Before joining the DoTC, De Jesus was the president of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distributor. He also served as president of Manila North Tollways Corp., operator of North Luzon Expressway.

De Jesus’ resignation comes ahead of a rumored Cabinet revamp to remove some “underperforming” officials.

“I don’t think (De Jesus) was going to be affected by the revamp because the President was surprised by the resignation,” Velasco said.

De Jesus “loves the Aquino family very much. He does not want this act to hurt his relationship with his family,” Velasco said. The decision was reached, Velasco said, after consultation with a member of the Aquino family.

De Jesus had served under the administration of late former President Corazon Aquino as secretary of public works and highways. One of his landmark projects at the time was the construction of overpasses on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or Edsa that decongested Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.

Velasco said he and other undersecretaries were caught off guard by De Jesus’ resignation.

“We had an all-day meeting last Tuesday. We were drawing up plans for the next five years and he was setting a lot of deadlines,” Velasco said. “There was no indication at all that he was going to leave.”

Since joining the DoTC, De Jesus has ordered the review of several key infrastructure projects that were approved by the previous administration.

These include the controversial Northrail project that aimed to build a cargo and passenger train line linking Metro Manila to key Northern Luzon provinces. The project, funded by a loan from the Chinese government, has been plagued with cost overruns that would result in Chinese contractor Sinomach getting more money from the government for less work.

Another project currently under review is the Greater Maritime Access or GMA Ports Project. A review committee formed by De Jesus earlier found that the project aimed to build 72 ports that the country did not need.

Velasco said the review of these contracts as well as other reforms would go on even without De Jesus.

“The secretary has established the foundation of good governance in the DoTC. He has ordered the review of all contracts and started a culture of honesty and transparency,” Velasco said.

Stradcom Corp., the controversial information technology systems provider for the Land Transportation Office, expressed surprise over De Jesus’ resignation.

“This is a big loss to the administration of President Aquino as Secretary de Jesus is not only a man of competence but also of unquestionable integrity. He is well-respected in both the political and business communities,” the company said in a statement.

Stradcom has been at the center of several controversies regarding its multibillion-peso contract with the LTO. An intra-corporate dispute at Stradcom, involving a certain Bonifacio Sumbilla who claimed to be the company’s new owner, led to a failed takeover of the company’s operations last December.

The takeover resulted in the seven-hour paralysis of Stradcom’s and the LTO’s operations. In a justice department investigation, LTO chief Virginia Torres, handpicked by Mr. Aquino for the post, was found to have sided with the Sumbilla faction to remove Stradcom chairman Cezar Quiambao.

De Jesus recommended that Torres be suspended to allow for a deeper probe into the matter. Mr. Aquino ordered Torres to go on a 60-day leave of absence, which ends on June 19.

Velasco denied that De Jesus was pressured to resign due to disagreements with the President on whether to replace Torres or allow her to return to her post. Torres is a close friend and “shooting buddy” of the President.

Velasco denied that there was any rift between De Jesus and the President.

De Jesus “cannot be pressured by any outside forces. He respects the President but he is in command of everything here at the DoTC. His resignation is purely his decision,” Velasco said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cabinet , DoTC , Government , Jose de Jesus , Telecommunications

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina
  • Clouds to bring slight relief from summer heat
  • Canadians rally to legalize marijuana
  • S. Korea ferry transcript reveals evacuation panic
  • Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace