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Diokno Resigns Ahead of DOJ Report That Clears Him

President Aquino accepts resignation
Resigned Bureau of Corrections chief Ernesto Diokno
Resigned Bureau of Corrections chief Ernesto Diokno

MANILA, Philippines (May 30 2011) – Few days after vowing to fight it out, Bureau of Corrections chief Ernesto Diokno finally submitted today his irrevocable resignation from his post.

The palace has confirmed that Diokno hand-carried his resignation letter addressed to President Benigno Aquino III.

In a statement, the President said Diokno, who was in hot water for days because of the out-of-prison escapade of former Batangas governor Jose Antonio Leviste, submitted his resignation letter before 2:00 p.m. today.

“Ang kaniyang pagbaba sa puwesto ay magbibigay daan sa agarang pagpapatupad ng mga repormang nais nating gawin sa ating sistemang Koreksyonal,(His resignation paves the way to reforms that we like to see in our correctional system.)” the President said.

He likewise praised Diokno for the decision, saying, “Pinupuri ko si Ginoong Diokno sa kanyang pagpapasya sang-ayon sa kanyang konsensya.(My appreciation goes to Mr. Diokno for deciding according to his conscience.)”

The content of Diokno's resignation is undisclosed as yet and it is not clear whether he owns up his responsibility on the Leviste incident.

During a hearing at the Department of Justice last week, Diokno maintained that he should not be held responsible for the “outside escapade” of the former Batangas governor.

He pointed out that he did not know anything about Leviste’s trip outside of the prison compound, arguing that his function is mainly policy making.

Diokno insisted that jail officials in the minimum security facility, where Leviste was supposed to be detained, should be blamed for the incident.

Diokno's resignation came just hours ahead of the anticipated submission to the president of the Department of Justice (DOJ) report on the Leviste caper.

Secretary Leila de Lima also praised Diokno for his voluntary resignation, calling it "the most honorable and selfless way for director Diokno to do."

Ironically, the DOJ report prepared by a 6-member panel has cleared Diokno of any criminal liability on the Leviste incident.