Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya played down on Monday the renewed resignation calls by some senators for his alleged failure to address the many problems hounding the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), which he heads.
“Again, sinasabi ko, serving in government is really a privilege not even a right so therefore, pwede namang alisin ‘yan maski anong oras po (it can be taken away any time),” Abaya told reporters at the Senate when sought for a comment on Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero’s call that he should be fired from his post.
In calling for Abaya’s dismissal from office, Escudero cited the many issues hounding the DOTC, such as the poor Internet connection and exorbitant mobile fees, “tanim-bala” (bullet-planting) scam, horrible MRT service, miserable airport facilities, and delays of license plates, car stickers, and driver’s license cards.
“Again, the privilege to serve the people is there; it continues to be a mere privilege for me,” Abaya added.
Senator Grace Poe also backed the calls for Abaya’s resignation, saying the country deserves a “better DOTC Secretary.”
“Ako sa tingin ko, we deserve a better DOTC secretary. Perhaps Secretary Abaya is very intelligent; matalino siya pero sa tingin ko, kailangan natin hindi lamang ganyan o may kakayanan, kailangan talagang tinututukan yung proyekto para maka-deliver on time,” Poe said in another interview, referring to the DOTC’s failure to address the MRT problems.
(I think that we deserve a better DOTC secretary. Perhaps Secretary Abaya is very intelligent; he’s smart but I think that we need someone who is not only smart or is able, we need someone who really gives his full attention on the project in order to deliver on time.)
“Ang ibang sinasabi, maikli na lang ang panahon diyan, baka magkagulo pa ‘pag nag-resign. Isa yung consideration, sinong pwedeng ipalit sa kanya… Pero para sabihin kasi na tiisin na lang dahil ilang buwan na lang ang natitira, para bang sinasabi natin na ok lang. Siyempre, dapat din may pananagutan,” she further said.
(Others say that he doesn’t have a lot of time left as a secretary, so there may be disorder if he resigns. Another consideration is who will replace him… But in saying that we just need endure this just because he has a few months left, it’s like we’re saying it’s just okay. Of course, someone needs to be held responsible.)