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Palace aide: Friendly parting between Aquino, De Jesus

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei—It was a friendly parting of ways between President Benigno Aquino III and Transportation Secretary Jose de Jesus when the latter expressed his intent to leave his post on Monday, a Malacañang Palace official said in a briefing here Wednesday.

Secretary Herminio Coloma, head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, told reporters here that De Jesus met with Aquino at the President’s office on Monday and “conveyed to President his preference to return to the private sector at this time.”

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De Jesus, who also served on the Cabinet of Aquino’s late mother Corazon, is to complete a year at the Department of Transportation and Communication when he leaves office on June 30, Coloma said.

“The president considers DoTC one of the important portfolios in his administration and commended Secretary de Jesus,” Coloma said. “He eased many of our concerns in the transport and infrastructure sector.”

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Coloma is with Aquino on his two-day state visit here.

“Our nation is fortunate to have the benefit of his service, just like he did during the admin of President Corazon Aquino. The President is thanking De Jesus for his service,” said Coloma.

“Our nation is fortunate to have the benefit of his service, just like he did during the admin of President Corazon Aquino. President is thanking de Jesus for his service,” said Coloma.

De Jesus remains a member of the board of trustees at the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation, said Coloma.

Asked who was expected to replace De Jesus, Coloma said the President would have ample time to choose a worthy replacement.

“The two of them discussed orderly transition that is why the effectivity is one month from now, so there will be enough time. Secretary de Jesus is still the head of DoTC,” said Coloma.

Pressed as to whether De Jesus resigned over the President’s dissatisfaction, Coloma replied: “There is no discussion. The President believes he has eased many concerns.… He has done good work in the past year.”

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“It was a very cordial meeting between the two of them because they have known each other for quite some time,” Coloma added.

He gave the same reply when asked if De Jesus’ resignation had anything to do with issues between the Land Transportation Authority and its IT service provider Stradcom.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Cabinet, DoTC, Foreign affairs, Government, Jose de Jesus
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