Tolentino quits MMDA over Playgirls scandal, but won't quit Senate race | Inquirer News
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Tolentino quits MMDA over Playgirls scandal, but won’t quit Senate race

/ 05:54 PM October 07, 2015

After being greatly criticized for gifting a Laguna representative with the controversial Playgirls performance last week, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino signed his resignation letter as the head of the agency before a thousand employees and some members of the media but still expressed intention to seek higher office.

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Reading his resignation letter addressed to President Aquino, Tolentino said the time has come for him to seek a higher level of serving the nation in 2016.

“I am now resigning as the MMDA chair,” said Tolentino telling the President that he would remain his loyal friend, before signing the resignation letter.

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In a statement released earlier in the day, Mr. Aquino said Tolentino reached out to him and “accepted responsibility” for the recent incident connected to him.

“With this, he has likewise decided to withdraw as a senatorial candidate of the Administration,” added the President.

During the inauguration of a new ferry boat at the Pasig Ferry Guadalupe Station on Wednesday morning, Tolentino apologized for not stopping the performance of the Playgirls during the oathtaking of Liberal Party (LP) members coinciding the birthday celebration of Laguna 4th District Rep. Benjamin Agarao Jr. in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, last Oct. 1.

“I am asking for understanding and forgiveness especially from women groups who got hurt because of the incident,” Tolentino added.

He admitted his mistake of not stopping the sexy dance performance of the female group.

“I am asking forgiveness from everyone who got offended by the incident especially to the family of Congressman Agarao and our friends from Laguna. I also apologize to my mother, who also got hurt, to the Liberal Party and Secretary Mar Roxas, whose name was dragged into what happened,” he noted.

Tolentino said he was not able to control the dance performance, which he claimed, “can also be seen every day by millions in television shows.”

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“I asked the Liberal Party to remove my name from the list they are considering for their senatorial lineup,” he added.

Tolentino, however, said that a single incident should not take away all the sacrifices his leadership has done for the MMDA adding that he offered 24/7 service to the people.

“I entered the MMDA to serve the interests of the majority. And I would not have done it without your help,” he said addressing MMDA employees.

He also asked the people to pray for him and support him in 2016. Although he has not specifically revealed his political plans, sources close to him confirmed that he would still continue with his senatorial bid but he has not determined which party he could join.

Last week, Tolentino declared that his candidacy for the Senate in a gathering of Caviteño political clan representatives from the Revillas, Maliksis and Remullas. He promised to carry Cavite’s banner in seeking for higher office.

Two days after his declaration, the Playgirls incident took social media by storm and drew the ire of the public, especially women’s groups tagging the show as “lewd and indecent.”

Tolentino denied that he was the one who brought the performers to the LP event, adding that he was just an invited guest.

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TAGS: “Playgirls” scandal, 2016 elections, 2016 senatorial elections, Benigno Aquino III, Benjamin Agarao Jr., Election, Francis Tolentino, House of Representatives, Liberal Party, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, News, Philippine Congress, Philippine president, Playgirls incident, Politics, resignation, twerking scandal
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