Leni to leave Duterte Cabinet amid ‘major differences’

More than a week after saying that she will not step down from the Duterte Cabinet, Vice President Leni Robredo has finally decided to quit citing “major differences.”

Robredo has announced on Sunday night that she will tender her resignation on Monday (Dec. 5) as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

In a statement posted on her Facebook account, Robredo said “We had hoped this day would not come.” “From the very beginning, the President and I had major differences in principles and values. Since I assumed office, I have been consistent in my opposition to issues such as the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, extra-judicial killings, reinstating death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability, and sexual attacks against women.”

Robredo also mentioned in her statement that she had been warned of a plot to steal the vice presidency from her. “I had been warned of a plot to steal the Vice Presidency. I have chosen to ignore this and focus on the job at hand. But the events of recent days indicate that this plot is now being set into motion.”
Robredo decided to quit as Housing Secretary after she reportedly received a text message from Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco Jr. that President Rodrigo Duterte wanted her to “desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting Monday, December 5.”

“This is the last straw, because it makes it impossible for me to perform my duties,” Robredo said.

“But we both had a mandate to serve the people. I had hoped that this shared commitment to the poor and marginalized would transcend the differences between us. So, I took the job of Housing Secretary when it was offered to me,” according to Robredo.

Robredo said that “In barely five months, we have solid accomplishments in HUDCC. This, despite the obstacles thrown our way.”

“One, the budget for all key shelter agencies in 2017 has been slashed by more than P19 billion. Two, all our key shelter agency appointment recommendations have not been acted on. Three, the Executive Order designed to make HUDCC effective was not signed.”

Earlier, former senator Rene Saguisag has challenged government officials opposing the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani to quit their posts in the Duterte Cabinet.

Last week, National Historical Commission of the Philippines chairperson Maria Serena Diokno has also resigned following the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

It is not known however if Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano will follow suit.