FORMER Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez has been expelled from the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) for “party disloyalty” and “acts inimical to the party.”
The party’s decision stemmed from a complaint filed before the PFP leadership by Jammal “Bong” Amin, PFP regional chairman for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Al-Rasheed Sakkalahul (PFP BARMM regional president), and Edifar “Papay” Ladjhali (PFP BARMM regional executive vice president) alleging that Rodriguez has violated the party’s platform of the government of fixing the government and making the country “crime-free, drug-free, corruption-free, insurgency-free and poverty-free.”
Rodriguez was the chief of staff and spokesman for Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during his presidential campaign.
The complaint enumerated several instances when he purportedly used his influence as executive secretary to promote the appointment of General Manager Christopher Pastrana to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
The appointment was considered “highly questionable” because aside from “conflict of interest,” Pastrana, one of the owners of Archipelago Philippines Ferries, or FastCat, still owes the Department of Transportation (DoTr) P132 million.
Had Pastrana been appointed, the money he owed the DoTr would have been “cleared,” the complainants said.
Pastrana heading the PPA “will be a clear case of conflict of interest” since Rodriguez’s wife, Meann, is related to a certain Dennis Trajano, APFF chairman, who also happens to be Pastrana’s business partner.
The complaint also said Rodriguez “still attempted to clutch at straws” after he submitted to the President a “Special/Memorandum Order creating the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff.
The order was criticized by former Senate president and now Chief Presidential Legal Adviser Juan Ponce Enrile, who said that such an office will have extraordinary powers that overlapped with the duties and responsibilities of the Presidential Management Staff, Office of the Solicitor General, Office of the Executive Secretary, and other offices attached to the Office of the President.
“If he wanted less stress and conflict, he shouldn’t have done this Draft MO or SO,” the complainants said, referring to Rodriguez’s memorandum.
“In the 77 days that he was in office, Rodriguez’s tenure was marked by chaos, confusion, disorder, intrigue, instability, nepotism, charges of appointments-for-sale, ’empire building’ and plotting against his perceived detractors,” they alleged. “His first executive order, firing some 4,000 government employees without providing for their replacements, was a disaster. What followed was confusion and paralysis in government service.”
The PFP Arbitration and Executive Committee said it found Rodriguez “guilty of breach or loss of trust and confidence, abandonment, disloyalty, and acts inimical to the party.”
“The President took no part in this decision, but was informed of this disciplinary action of the Party against respondent, and he (the President) offered no objection,” the PFP said in its resolution.
Rodriguez also took no part in the decision “because of our rule: once a member of the Executive Committee is a party to a case, he is motu propio inhibited from participating in the resolution of this conflict,” it said.
Rodriguez’s old position in the party, executive vice president, has been passed on to Special Assistant to the President Anton Lagdameo.
Lagdameo’s former post as PFP national treasurer has been given to Antonio Marfori.