MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo has formally resigned as Chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) on December 5, Monday.
The Office of the Executive Secretary received Robredo’s resignation letter addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte at 9:07 a.m. today.
The Vice President’s resignation from her post as Housing Secretary was prompted by Duterte’s directive for her to “desist from attending all Cabinet meetings.”
“Your directive for me to “desist from attending all Cabinet meetings” has effectively made it impossible for me to do my job. Remaining in your Cabinet has become untenable,” Robredo wrote in her resignation letter.
Robredo released a statement on Sunday, a day prior to her formal resignation, where she first indicated her plan to leave her post as Chairperson of HUDCC.
It was also in her Sunday statement where the reasons for her resignation were first made public.
Aside from the Duterte’s Cabinet meeting directive, Robredo talked about budget cuts in HUDCC, recommended appointments that were not acted on, and an unsigned Executive Order as the reasons for her resignation.
“In barely five months, we have solid accomplishments in HUDCC. This, despite the obstacles thrown our way, which are: 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,” Robredo wrote in her Sunday statement.
However, the directive from Duterte that Robredo received via text message was the “last straw,” the Vice President said.
Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, Jr., the government official who Robredo said she received the text message from, confirmed on Sunday that the Vice President was actually told to refrain from attending cabinet meetings. Evasco said that the reason behind this was the “irreconcilable differences” between Duterte and Robredo.
Evasco stressed that Robredo was not instructed to be terminated from her position.
In her resignation letter, Robredo responded to the “irreconcilable differences” with the following statement: “I have exerted all effort to put aside our differences, maintain a professional working relationship, and work effectively despite the constraints because the Filipino people deserve no less.”
Plot to unseat Robredo?
Aside from her resignation, Robredo also discussed on Sunday “a plot to steal the Vice Presidency.” She opened and ended her statement with the said subject.
“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 said.
“However, as your duly elected Vice President, 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,” she added.