Liza Maza resigns as head of anti-poverty agency

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The anti-poverty chief, who was previously charged for murder, has resigned from her post Monday following the dismissal of her case. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 20) — National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Liza Maza on Monday resigned from her post, saying that she preferred to serve the country outside the government. 

Maza said she reached the decision because of the political situation in the country with the return to power of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the new Speaker, and the cancellation of peace talks with the communists.

"Ang perspektibo ko dito ay maisusulong pa ba natin ang ating matagal na pinaglalaban na pagbabago? 'Yan ang konklusyon ko, mahirap na ipaglaban," she explained. 

[Translation:My perspective here is can we still push for the change we've been fighting for? That is the conclusion I've come up with, it's hard to fight for it now.]

"Ang mensahe ko na lang sa mamamayan dapat tayo maging mapagmatiyag at laging isaisip na noon pong umupo si Presidente ay tayo lahat may mataas na pag-asa sa ating pagbabago sa ating lipunan. 'Wag po natin bitawan ang pag-asa na 'to," she said. 

[Translation:My message to the public, is we should be patient and always think, when the President took his post, we had hopes that our society will change. Let us not let go of this hope.]

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President had accepted Maza's resignation but regretted her departure.

"I would say that she had the trust and confidence of the President and she resigned. We always regret when people who enjoy the trust leave their post but I'm sure there will be more other applicants to the post," he said.

Roque maintained that Maza's resignation was a "voluntary" move, which came after murder charges against her and three were dismissed.

READ: Charges dropped in Liza Maza, 3 ex-solons murder case

Maza, who was previously Gabriela Women's party list representative in the lower house, was charged for the murder of three supporters of rival party list Akbayan in 2001 and 2004. She, along with former Agrarian Secretary and Anakpawis Partylist member Rafael Mariano, and former Bayan Muna Party-list members Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño, were issued warrants of arrests earlier this year until the charges were dropped for lack of evidence on August 13.

Maza said she would devote her time fighting for victims of "political persecution" similar to her case.

"I am also going to devote my time and focus sa pagkakampanya doon po sa mga similarly-situated, katulad ko na ginipit, yang mga naging biktima ng gawa-gawang kaso at saka ng political persecution and repression nakikita ko doon po na isa 'yan sa focus na gusto kong pagtuunan," she said.

[Translation: I am also going to devote my time campaigning for those who were also in my situation, victims of fabricated cases and political persecution and repression. I see that that is one of things I would like to focus on.]