Licuanan: Executive Secretary asked me to resign
Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Chair Patricia Licuanan resigned on Monday, after she was asked by Malacañang to step down from her post, six months before her term expires in July.
Speaking before CHEd employees at the agency’s flag-raising ceremony, Licuanan said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea sought her resignation over the weekend. While she did not say why she was asked to step down, she noted that she has decided it is time for her to go as “it has become obvious that there are persons determined to get me out of CHEd by hurling false and baseless accusations against me in what appears to be a fishing expedition and a well-orchestrated move in media.”
“Although I vehemently deny the accusations against me, it is time to resign as my continued presence in CHEd is inimical to the interest of the institution. It will only serve as lightning rod to attract more controversy that is distracting the agency from vigorously pursuing urgent reforms that will redound to the benefit of future generations of Filipinos,” Licuanan said.
Earlier, Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles accused Licuanan of traveling excessively. Licuanan denied this as she maintained that the eight trips she made last year were not only authorized by Malacañang but also were in line with her agency’s internationalization mandate.
Licuanan was also accused by her critics of corruption and mismanagement due to the delayed release in the allowances of faculty scholars in the K to 12 Transition Program. The agency later clarified that the delay was caused by several issues, including the discrepancies and deficiencies in the documents submitted to them.
Her health was also put into question when she admitted she had vertigo. She pointed out that this was despite the fact that she only took a sick leave “for half a day” in the more than seven years she was with CHEd.
Licuanan’s resignation comes just three days after she said in a TV interview that she hopes she would “not be forced to resign” when things get “so unbearable that I will have to resign.”
When the Duterte administration came in, Licuanan had to fight for her right to stay in her post as the President’s allies questioned her continued stay. She then said that she was constitutionally guaranteed to keep her post till July 2018. Not long after though, in December 2016, Licuanan was barred from attending Cabinet hearings, along with Vice President Leni Robredo due to “irreconcilable differences.” /cbb