Francis Tolentino resigns as MMDA chief

Francis Tolentino resigns as MMDA chief image

Text: Anton Andres / Photos: | posted October 08, 2015 11:27

Tolentino apologizes for controversial LP event in Laguna

After 5 years of service, Francis Tolentino has resigned from his post as MMDA Chariman. His resignation comes a week after women danced in a lewd manner during the inauguration of Laguna Congressman Benjie Agarao.

Various reports say that the now former MMDA chief has given up his senatorial candidacy in the Liberal Party for the 2016 elections. President Benigno Aquino III also issued a statement regarding Tolentino's resignation and senatorial bid, saying “"Today, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino spoke on the recent incident connected to him. He has accepted responsibility for it. With this, he has likewise decided to withdraw as a senatorial candidate of the Administration."

Before his resignation, numerous calls by the public Tolentino to step down as MMDA Chairman. The public calls for him to resign started over the heavy traffic in Metro Manila, followed by the inaguration incident in Laguna. Ten labor groups also filed a joint criminal complaint case against him, statting that he was in violation of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and violation of the Magna Carta of Women. Tolentino has apologized for the controversial incident last week, saying “I am asking for understanding and I apologize to the women’s groups hurt because of the incident in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. It was my mistake and I acknowledge that I failed to stop the performance (even when) I was the highest ranking government officer there.”

In his farewell speech, Tolentino mentioned the changes he's made to the MMDA during his 5 year tenure as Chairman. These include upgrades in salary, increase of Christmas bonuses, housing and scholarship for permanent employees, and other benefits. During his time as chairman, the MMDA also launched the MMDA app that allows road users to check on traffic flow on their mobile phones.