Citing differences, Philippine vice president quits Cabinet

2016-12-05 15:53
Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo answers questions from the media during a news conference following her resignation from her cabinet post (AP).

Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo answers questions from the media during a news conference following her resignation from her cabinet post (AP).

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Manila — There was no immediate reaction on Monday from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the country's vice president saying she will resign her Cabinet post, citing "major differences in principles and values" with Duterte and an unspecified plot to remove her from the vice presidency.

Leni Robredo, a human rights lawyer and respected political newcomer, said in a statement on Sunday that she will resign as housing secretary, an appointment made by Duterte, but will stay on in her elected post as vice president. She was set to hold a news conference on Monday.

In the Philippines, presidents and vice presidents are separately elected and often come from rival political parties, like Duterte and Robredo.

"I will not allow the vice presidency to be stolen. I will not allow the will of the people to be thwarted," Robredo said without elaborating. "I will continue to serve the Filipino family and fulfil their dream for a better life."

The head of the government's Commission on Higher Education, Patricia Licuanan, said she learned through a text message that Duterte had also banned her from attending Cabinet meetings but said she would stay on in her post.

There was no immediate comment from Duterte on Monday.

Robredo's resignation comes amid a political storm over Duterte's decision to allow the burial of long-dead dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the country's Heroes' Cemetery and a bloody crackdown against illegal drugs that has alarmed Western governments and human rights watchdogs.

‘Irreconcilable differences’

Robredo is the second official to resign from Duterte's administration in less than a week. Maria Serena Diokno quit as head of the government's historical commission on Tuesday to protest Duterte's decision to allow Marcos' reburial in the cemetery.

Diokno has since joined street protests by anti-Marcos groups condemning the secretive November 18 burial.

Robredo cited her opposition to the burial, the drug killings, Duterte's plan to re-impose the death penalty and "sexual attacks against women" among the issues on which she differed with Duterte, who took office on June 30.

The last straw, she said, was when she was notified on Saturday by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Junior through a text message about the president's order for Robredo "to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings" starting on Monday.

Evasco said Duterte decided to bar her from Cabinet meetings because of her "irreconcilable differences" with the Duterte administration.

Duterte's move, Robredo said, made it impossible for her to do her work, adding she has also faced budget cutbacks and other obstacles.

Robredo, 52, did not provide details about the alleged plot to remove her from the vice presidency, but her electoral victory has been questioned by her closest rival in the race, former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Junior, a son of the late dictator.

Marcos Junior lost by a slim margin to Robredo, the widow of a popular politician who built a name as an honest, hands-on provincial mayor who wore slippers to work and reached out to the poor in the countryside.

Robredo's husband died in a plane crash in 2012, and she later acceded to widespread calls for her to enter politics.

Robredo said she has chosen to ignore warnings "of a plot to steal the vice presidency" and instead tried to focus on her work.

"But the events of recent days indicate that this plot is now being set into motion," Robredo said, adding that she will continue to support the positive actions of Duterte's administration "and oppose those that are inimical to the people's interest".

Read more on:    rodrigo duterte  |  philippines

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

Cute pet pictures can improve your relationship!

It’s true! A new study shows animal pics can bring back the spark.

 
 

Paws

7 weirdly awesome pets you can own
Pack theory: fact or fiction?
Perfect dog-walking 1: Why dogs pull on the lead
SA stats: The role of pets in families
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.