Just 150 days after she took her oath as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Vice President Leni Robredo resignes from the abinet of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Robredo said that she was giving up her Cabinet post because there was a Malacañang official’s instruction, barring her from attending its meetings.
A Cabinet Secretary, Leoncio Evasco Jr. said that Pres. Duterte had instructed him to inform Robredo and Patricia Licuanan, chair of the Commission on Higher Education, to stop attending Cabinet meetings due to ‘irreconcilable differences.’
Licuanan is an appointee of then President Benigno Aquino III.
Evasco did not elaborate on what the irreconcilable differences were.
Robredo, a member of the Liberal Party, has assailed the extrajudicial killings in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and opposed the burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Mr. Duterte supported the Marcos burial at Libingan.
The Vice President said the instruction, relayed by the President’s special assistant, Christopher ‘Bong’ Go, was for her to ‘desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, Dec. 5.’
Leni said that it impossible for her to perform her duties that is the reason why she is tendering her resignation from the Cabinet, Robredo said in a statement issued on Dec. 4.
On the other hand, Evasco said that while Robredo was asked to desist from attending the Cabinet meetings, there was ‘no instruction for her to be terminated from her position.’
When told that Robredo was tendering her resignation, Evasco said: ‘If that’s the case, we will be constrained to look for somebody who will handle HUDCC.’
Robredo became a member of the Cabinet in her capacity as chair of HUDCC, the highest policy making body for housing.
As chair of HUDCC, the agency has had ‘solid accomplishments’ over the past five months, she said.
This was despite the P19-billion budget cut for all key shelter agencies and inaction on appointment recommendations, she added.
The Vice President said resigning from the Cabinet would still allow her to ‘continue to support the positive initiatives of the administration and oppose those that are inimical to the people’s interest.’
She said that as your duly elected Vice President, she will not allow the vice presidency to be stolen.
She will not allow the will of the people to be thwarted. She will continue to serve the Filipino family and fulfill their dream for a better life, she said.
Robredo, who won with 14,418,817 votes, defeated Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. by a razor-thin margin of 263,473.
Marcos is protesting her proclamation in the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
During his state visit to China, Mr. Duterte brought up the possibility that if Bongbong wins in his protest, he could be the Vice President.
Evasco said that the President’s order for Robredo to stay away from the Cabinet meetings had nothing to do with the electoral protest filed by Marcos Jr.