Issues of Leadership, Credibility

Community News & Features Opinion & Analysis Jul 16, 2005 at 4:54 pm

Resignation Statement of 10 Cabinet members

(WHAT follows is the full text of a statement by 10 Cabinet members led by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima on their irrevocable resignation.)
WITH deep concern and firm resolve, after a long period of reflection, debate and consultations, we, the undersigned, are hereby submitting our collective irrevocable resignation.
As early as Tuesday, July 5, we had already made our decision to resign. The President preempted our moves. This preemption does not change our conviction that her decisions as of late are guided mainly by her determination to survive as President. We believe that she will continue to make her decisions according to this norm.

By this act, we are not making any judgments on the tapes and “jueteng” issues. There is a proper forum to resolve those issues consistent with the rule of law. More pressing and immediate concerns confront our people today than poisoned politics or infirmities in our Constitution. At the core of these concerns are the issues of leadership and credibility—the ability of our President to continue to lead and govern our country with the trust and confidence of our people.

The longer the President stays in office under a cloud of doubt and mistrust, and with her style of decision-making, the greater the damage on the economy and the more vulnerable the fragile political situation becomes to extremists seeking to undermine our democratic life. In the end, the poor will suffer the most.

The President can be part of the solution to this crisis by making the supreme sacrifice for God and country to voluntarily relinquish her office and allow her constitutional successor, the Vice President, to assume the Presidency. Resignation is a legitimate constitutional option for affecting leadership change. Given the crisis in the Presidency, this is the least disruptive and painful option that can swiftly restore normalcy and eventually, bring us to prosperity.

We reject violence and anti-constitutional alternatives and call on our people to do the same. We will reject any attempt to exploit our resignation to sow intrigue and destabilization. We should all unite behind our constitutional successor and work together to resume our struggle for social, political and economic reforms.

The process of reforming society is difficult. It will entail sacrifices among our already suffering people. It will generate resistance and conflict among those who may have to give up power and privilege. We need leadership that can inspire our people to stay the course, while we confront these challenges. We need leadership with the moral courage to push on in the face of adversity; leadership that can steer the nation towards healing and reconciliation.

Even as we take leave from public service, we assure everyone of our unwavering commitment to continue serving our country, especially the underprivileged and powerless amidst us.