Senator: VP Binay resignation signals gun start of 2016 elections

MANILA, Philippines - A senator said that resignation of Vice President VP Jejomar Binay today from the Aquino Cabinet should come as no surprise since it happened at a time when political parties and prospective candidates gear up for the 2016 general elections.

 VP Binay resignation signals gun start of 2016 elections

Sen. Chiz Escudero said that Binay, whose intention to run for president in next year's elections is public knowledge, resigned from the Cabinet as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and presidential adviser on OFW (overseas Filipino Workers) concerns, probably because he wanted to focus on his political campaign.

"This signals the so-called gun start of the 2016 elections where appointed officials begin resigning from their appointive posts in order to concentrate on their respective campaigns," Escudero said.

Binay’s daughter, Makati Rep. Abigail 'Abi' Binay, said in an interview in DZMM that the vice president is “tired” of being the “punching bag” of Aquino’s allies.

In a statement, Binay’s camp said the resignation was “irrevocable."

Abigail Binay as accompanied by Undersecretary Benjamin Martinez Jr., chief of staff of the Vice President, hand-carried the resignation to the Office of the President on Monday at around 3:55 p.m.

It was earlier reported that at least six members of the Cabinet will resign in October in time for the filing of certificates of candidacy.

Escudero expressed hope the President will immediately appoint Binay's replacement at HUDCC, as well as other key agencies which until now remain headless, in order to ensure that public service is not disrupted.

"I respect the VP's decision. I just hope that the President can immediately appoint his successor, as well as for other appointed secretaries, so as not to adversely affect the government's ability to deliver basic services," Escudero said.

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