Former ES Vic Rodriguez’s book details First Lady Liza Marcos’ alleged government interference

Former ES Vic Rodriguez’s book details First Lady Liza Marcos’ alleged government interference

AT the launch of his ‘tell-all’ book in a hotel in Pasig, former Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez detailed his experiences during his 79 days serving in the cabinet under the Marcos administration.

Rodriguez is a close friend who served as Chief of Staff and Chief Strategist for Marcos during the 2022 elections.

He was also Marcos Jr.’s lawyer in his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo in 2016—a time when the Marcos family had few allies after losing the VP race.

In his book, authored by veteran writer Gerry Lirio, Rodriguez explains how his relationship with First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos soured.

This was especially true when Araneta-Marcos wanted to insert her influence into revenue-generating offices like the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). She even called meetings at Malacañang with cabinet members.

Rodriguez recounts how he felt compelled to follow the First Lady’s orders, despite her lack of a public mandate.

“There are those who would want to be appointed right away and get in line ahead of those that we were processing before them. But, whispers here, whispers there, smear campaigns,” said Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Former Executive Secretary.

Rodriguez also mentioned in his book that the First Lady wanted to have power over military appointments.

In the early part of the Marcos Jr. administration, there were several reshuffles in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Affected were former AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro and former Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) Chief Brig. General Kit Teofilo.

According to the book, Araneta-Marcos was angered by General Teofilo’s ISAFP report about an anti-Rodriguez group forming in the cabinet.

Because of this, Araneta-Marcos allegedly accused Rodriguez of wiretapping her using ISAFP.

It’s worth recalling that Araneta-Marcos released a video with former Presidential Security Group (PSG) Chief BGen. Ramon Zagala denied her involvement in government appointments.

However, Rodriguez’s book details what really happened.

“Only those with a mandate should make decisions. You can ask for advice… Naturally, you can seek wisdom, legal or non-legal advice, but at the end of the day, it’s the call of the one elected to office as President and no one else,” said Rodriguez.

Due to issues with the First Lady, Rodriguez was forced to resign as Executive Secretary despite being offered the position of Presidential Chief of Staff.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez was asked if he believes that it’s the First Lady, and not the President, running the country.

“I don’t believe that if left to decide and think, that would be President Marcos’ direction. What’s happening now could be the result of the influence of one or many,” he stated.

Rodriguez also answered whether he thinks Marcos Jr. should resign.

This comes amid intense public pressure from the MAISUG Peace Rallies held across the country and around the world.

PBBM should step down —Atty. Rodriguez

“Ferdinand Marcos Sr., for all his shortcomings, did have (objectively I’m looking at him) in February of 1986, when he was told to cut and cut clean, you could see the country was already in shambles, yet he stepped down. He probably thought he was no longer good for the Filipinos. And if we follow that, if the tree bears fruit, it should be a positive aspect that if I’m no longer good for the country, I will step down. I will just leave. That was the tree in 1986, in February. We’ll see if the fruit of that positive appreciation will still pop and do a supreme sacrifice and follow the footsteps of the Father,” Rodriquez concluded.

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