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Rody accepts Polong resignation

Paolo Duterte (left) heeds the advice of his father.—INQUIRER PHOTO

Paolo “Polong” Duterte is officially out as Davao City Vice Mayor after his father, President Duterte, accepted his resignation on Friday, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

Paolo will be replaced by Councilor Bernard Al-ag, the city’s highest ranking councilor, based on the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991.

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“I humbly and fully accept the duties and responsibilities as vice mayor [of] this city,” Al-ag told the Inquirer by phone even as he expressed disagreement with Paolo’s decision to resign.

Out of ‘delicadeza’

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Paolo had announced his resignation on Christmas Day purportedly out of propriety, or “delicadeza,” after he was implicated in the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” (crystal meth) into the country and a public squabble with his teenage daughter.

“There are recent unfortunate events in my life that are closely tied to my failed first marriage. These, among others, include the maligning of my reputation in the recent name-dropping incident in the Bureau of Customs’ smuggling case and the very public squabble with my daughter,” Paolo said.

‘Protect my honor’

“My parents never failed to remind me of the value of the time-honored principle of delicadeza, and this is one of those instances in my life that I need to protect my honor and that of my children,” Paolo said in his resignation letter.

The President subsequently advised Paolo to do what he thought to be right.

Had Mr. Duterte not acted on Paolo’s resignation, it would have been considered accepted after 15 days.

Preempting investigations

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Some greeted the move with skepticism, with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a Duterte critic, saying Paolo was “just preempting the numerous investigations against him by the Ombudsman.”

But Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte defended her brother and reminded Trillanes that a probe by the Ombudsman “does not stop just because an official has resigned.”

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea informed Paolo of the President’s decision accepting his resignation through a letter dated Jan. 5.

Paolo’s resignation was accepted “effective immediately,” Medialdea said in the letter.

Al-ag said he would serve only the unexpired portion of Paolo’s term and be inducted into office by a representative of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

With his accession, Al-ag said the city council would be left with 23 members and the ruling Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod party would likely name his replacement.

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TAGS: Davao, Paolo Duterte, President Duterte, resignation, vice mayor
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