The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Thursday denied that Akbayan Rep. Arlene "Kaka" Bag-ao is poised to replace Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes.
"He is not resigning," presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said on Thursday after talking to Delos Reyes during the sidelines of a meeting with farmer-leaders at the Palace.
"The confidence of the President on Secretary delos Reyes remains steadfast," Lacierda added.
Delos Reyes confirmed on dzRH radio on Thursday that he would not quit his post. He has been on the receiving end of criticisms from farmers and religious leaders for allegedly failing to meet land distribution targets.
But Lacierda said the President "realizes the difficulties in the implementation of our agrarian reform program."
Bag-ao, a lawyer especializing in land rights issues, is a member of the House prosecution team during the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Bag-ao served as DAR consultant in 2004. She was the lead counsel in the case of farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon who in 2010 walked 1,700 kilometers from the province to Manila to claim their rights over the land they tilled.
Akbayan is the political party of presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas.