Pres. Duterte accepts Robredo’s resignation with heavy heart

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday accepted ‘with a heavy heart’ the resignation of Vice President Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo as member of his Cabinet.

“It is with a heavy heart that I accept the resignation of Vice President Leni Robredo,” Duterte said in a press statement forwarded to the Malacanang media by Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar.

On Monday, Robredo formally resigned as chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) after she has been directed 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 stated in her resignation letter.

“With due respect, I am tendering my resignation as HUDCC Chairperson effective immediately,” she added.

Barely five months ago, Robredo said she decided to accept the offer to head HUDCC given her and President Duterte’s “shared commitment to the poor and marginalized.”

“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,” she said.

Last Saturday, Robredo said she received a text message from Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco Jr. relaying the President’s instruction through Special Assistant to the President Bong Go for her to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting Dec. 5.

Robredo clarified that since she assumed HUDCC post, she has been consistent in opposing several issues including the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Robredo, a member of the Liberal Party, won the vice presidential race with a slim margin of only 263,473 votes over Marcos’ son, former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos.

The late President Marcos was buried at the heroes’ cemetery last November 18 or one week after the Supreme Court (SC) allowed the burial.

In the two past administrations, the HUDCC was handled by former Vice Presidents Jejomar Binay and Noli de Castro.