Torres' retirement 'better route,' says Aquino
MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III said he did not force Land Transportation Office (LTO) Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres to resign, but stressed her decision to leave her post is the "better route."
Aquino told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit on Monday, October 7, that he met with Torres and "told her the lay of the land."
He did not elaborate but said he "quoted certain things," and "she agreed with the end point."
But he stressed "I did not force her" to quit.
Aquino said it's all for the better. "[It's] less stress for her, less stress for her family and maybe it's better for the agency which has to attend to everything it has to attend to, because somehow, there was some diversion on their focus and attention," he said.
Torres announced her retirement early Monday, after figuring out in a viral video showing her playing in a casino.
Aquino said he did not discuss the incident at length with Torres.
"I told her, since she's my province mate, I said, 'I don't need an explanation anymore,' and she understood," Aquino said. Both are from Tarlac.
"She's older than I am, she's a woman, you wouldn't want to give her advice when the situation is already so heavy — that's making it harder on her."
Aquino defended his friend and said he didn't believe accusations she's corrupt.
Torrres, who turned 60 in May, served the government for 33 years. She previously headed Tarlac's LTO branch and was appointed to her current post as assistant secretary at the LTO in July 2010, after Aquino assumed office. She's been hounded by controversy since then.
Aquino said he would leave it to Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya to find her replacement.
According to Memorandum Circular No. 8 issued by Malacañang on Aug 28, 2001, "All government personnel concerned are prohibited from entering, staying and/or playing at gambling casinos." Malacañang is currently investigating the video showing Torres playing in a casino slot machine.
Torres said she will "accept" any decision that will come out of the investigation. - Rappler.com