It has already been a week since the deadly explosions in Beirut, Lebanon that claimed the lives of over a hundred people and injured thousands, including several Filipinos, at the country’s capital.
A national day of mourning has been declared due to the catastrophe, and countries—including Israel who’s been in conflict with Lebanon for years—and organizations have offered financial and medical aid to them.
Despite the Lebanese government helping out their countrymen, the public is still evidently enraged with the explosion. Some Lebanese groups took to the streets to rally about the negligence of authorities who carelessly stored more than 2,000 tons of ammonium nitrate—a highly explosive substance if exposed to an ignition source or flame—without ample supervision.
The public’s rage has prompted Lebanese officials to take the necessary actions. In fact, just two days ago, after the second day of demonstrations, Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad resigned from her position in the government. She said that she stepped down because the government had not lived up to her and the Lebanese people’s aspirations, to respect those affected by the explosions, and “in response to the people’s demand for change.” (Read: Pope Francis Leads Prayers for Victims of Lebanon Explosion)
Since the catastrophic explosion, six members of the parliament have already resigned. And today, August 11, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has added to the list of officials who have stepped down due to the incident, saying that his resignation roots from his conclusion that “corruption in the country is bigger than the state.”
It’s not just in Lebanon where government officials resigned in recent months. In the Philippines alone, a number of government leaders have stepped down from their positions amid public issues. (Read: Bishop Urges Government Leaders to ‘Talk Less, Listen More’) Read on to know more about some of the most controversial resignations in the country this year.
NEDA Chief Ernesto Pernia
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia filed for resignation last April, citing “differences with the government” in policy-making and -designing for the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason.
“When the orchestra is not well orchestrated, then you have a little problem. Since I seem to be a dissonant voice among others, I thought I should just quit,” the former NEDA secretary said. He has since been replaced by Department of Finance’s Karl Chua.
DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio, Jr.
Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary for Operations Eliseo Rio, Jr. tendered his resignation in January, saying that “internal conflict” between him and some officials of the department was the primary cause.
After his resignation, Rio and DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan III issued a joint statement clarifying that Rio’s resignation is not because of the supposed fund anomalies in the department or a rift between him and the secretary.
Three officials from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) have submitted their letters of resignation last July. They stated that they are “disgusted over corruption” in the agency which is why they decided to step down.
A recent issue regarding corruption inside the state health insurer is the P15 billion stolen by a said “syndicate.” According to lawyer Thorrsson Montes Keith, who also recently resigned from his post at PhilHealth, executive officials of the agency are the people behind the “mafia” stealing billions from the funds. Last year, the state health insurer was also in hot waters as issues of “ghost dialysis” surfaced in June.