MANILA, Philippines?Justice Secretary Leila De Lima should either shut up or quit if she does not agree with the position of President Aquino, Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile said on Wednesday.
?I worked with several presidents, nobody is indispensable,? Enrile told Senate reporters.
?If you do not agree with him, then you have to take the plunge. If you feel that you are a subordinate, that you do not superimpose your will over your boss, keep quiet,? he said.
Enrile was responding to De Lima?s admission that resigning from her post had crossed her mind after the President ordered a review of the Incident Investigation and Review committee (IRC) report on the August 23 hostage-taking that left eight Hong Kong tourists and the hostage-taker, a sacked police officer, dead.
?You?re just an alter-ego. Your decision is subject to modification by the President. He has executive control and jurisdiction over all offices in the executive department,? Enrile said.
?The meaning of control is he can reverse, modify, in any way amend or alter your decision. You should always assume that in effect if you suggest, anything is recommendatory. It is up to the President to decide whether he will sustain you or he will disagree with you or reverse you,? he said.
Instead of going to the public, Enrile said de Lima could have asked an appointment with the President where she could express and argue her opinion on the issue.
?But it has to be between the two of you. The moment you go to the public and say something and in effect disagree with your boss, then you have to make up your mind, you either quit or stay,? he said.
?Don't you bring issue before the people. Bring it first to your boss unless you are ready to quit,? he added.
Senator Serge Osmeña III agreed with the Senate president.
?If you disagree, then you resign,? Osmeña said in a separate interview, ?Unfortunately in this world, not even husbands and wives would agree on everything. So dapat pagbigyan na lang n?ya [de Lima] ang Pangulo paminsan-minsan (So she should just abide what the President wants).?
But Osmeña said De Lima made the right decision to stay ?because she is one of the best appointees of the President to the Cabinet.?