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12月5日のまにら新聞から

Robredo quits from Duterte's Cabinet; Malacanang cites 'irreconcilable differences' between the two

[ 698 words|2016.12.5|英字 ]

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said she is resigning as the concurrent chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

In a statement, Robredo said she will tender her resignation on Monday after receiving a text message from Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. that President Rodrigo Duterte wants her to stop from attending the Cabinet meetings.

“This is the last straw, because it makes it impossible for me to perform my duties. Hence, I am tendering my resignation from the Cabinet on Monday, December 5, 2016,” Robredo said.

Evasco confirmed Duterte's instruction for him to inform Robredo "to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, December 5."

He cited as the reason the "irreconcilable differences" between Duterte and Robredo.

Evasco said in a radio interview that he did not have the details of those differences of the two leaders, but he noted that they belong to different political parties.

In a separate statement, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said the Palace has yet to receive Robredo's letter of resignation.

"A member of the Cabinet enjoys the full trust and confidence of the President for he or she acts as the President’s alter ego. Having said this, the President entrusted the Vice President, whom we all know came from a rival political party, a position in his official family in deference to the wishes of our people who want both leaders to work together and succeed," he said.

As a Cabinet member, Robredo is expected to be a team player where differences in policies and issues are discussed during Cabinet meetings, he said, adding the President in turn respects any decision agreed upon by his Cabinet.

"Recent events, however, showed the differences between the President and the Vice President as becoming irreconcilable and public," he said without elaborating on what could be the irreconcilable differences.

But Andanar said the Palace wishes Robredo to continue her "unhampered service to the nation to the best of her abilities."

Robredo belongs to the opposition Liberal Party, which was among those opposing Duterte's position to allow former President Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The Vice President cited that she and Duterte 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," she said.

But despite those differences, she accepted the position to be the Housing secretary after Duterte offered this to her, hoping that their "shared commitment to the poor and marginalized would transcend the differences between us."

She said the HUDCC has solid accomplishments in a span of five months despite "obstacles thrown our way."

These include slashing by more than P19 billion the budget for all key shelter agencies in 2017; failure to act yet on her recommendations on who to hold the positions on key shelter agencies; and Duterte's failure to sign an executive order designed to make HUDCC effective.

Robredo indicated in her statement also that there is a "plot" to oust her as the vice president.

"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," she said.

Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has been contesting Robredo's victory after getting a margin of only more than 200,000 in the May elections.

Evasco, however, denied the allegation, saying Duterte's directive not to allow anymore Robredo to attend the Cabinet meetings has "nothing to do" with Marcos.

“I will not allow the Vice Presidency to be stolen. I will not allow the will of the people to be thwarted. I will continue to serve the Filipino family and fulfill their dream for a better life,” Robredo said.

With her resignation, Robredo vowed to continue to "support the positive initiatives" of the current government and "oppose those that are inimical to the people's interest." Ella Dionisio, Celerina Monte/DMS