PNoy: I didn't force Torres to resign
BALI, INDONESIA—President Aquino said he did not force resigned Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Virginia Torres to leave her post but said that he had told Torres about the good side of leaving government after being involved in another controversy, referring to her being caught on video playing a slot machine inside a casino.
“Nag-usap kami at syempre ‘yung last issue niya, pinaliwanag ko, kababayan ko naman siya. Sabi ko parang hindi ko naman kailangan pa nitong parang paliwanag pa at naintindihan naman niya na baka ito na ang better route e. Less stress for her, less stress for her family, at saka baka better for the agency na it attends to everything that it has to attend to rather than maski papaano mada-divert ang focus at ‘yung attention. I don’t think I forced her, told her the lay of the land, quoted certain things and she agreed with the end point,” Aquino told reporters.
Aquino does not believe Torres was involved in corrupt activities or had guilt in earlier controversies. But he told Torres that he could no longer defend her against detractors this time, saying that evidence against her was clear.
Torres violated a presidential directive signed by former President Gloria Arroyo barring government personnel from entering, staying, or playing in casinos.
“At the basis of the last incident parang that was very clear. Ngayon… mas matanda siya sa akin, babae siya, ayaw mo namang bibigyan siya ng payo na mabigat na, lalo mo pang pahirapan. Huwag naman sanang salt being rubbed in an injury… Bigyan naman natin ng dignidad ang tao dahil talaga namang… Ako hindi ako naniniwala for instance [sa] mga binabatikos sa kanya na doon sa mga kontrobersya nung umpisa na may pinapaboran ganito ganyan, may katiwalian, hindi ko makitang gagawin niya ‘yun o kaya ba niya gawin ‘yun. Although sabi ko baka dito merong prejudgment in that last incident, is that still a necessary activity for me to get into? ‘Yung defense of her something like that,” he said.
Aquino is leaving it to Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Jun Abaya to find a replacement for Torres.