Published: Monday 05 December, 2016

Duterte Saddened by Leni Robredo’s Resignation – Malacanang

Vice President Leni Robredo’s resignation has been accepted by President Rodrigo Duterte ‘with a heavy heart’. This was the statement of Malacanang after Robredo submitted her resignation as HUDCC head this morning.

Duterte Robredo

President Rodrigo Duterte & VP Leni Robredo. (PHOTO: Facebook via CNN PH)

“It is with a heavy heart that I accept the resignation of Vice President Leni Robredo,” said Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, quoting the president.

Robredo tendered her resignation Sunday night by issuing an official statement on why she is quitting as HUDCC chairperson, a position held by two previous vice presidents. Her letter of resignation was sent and accepted by Malacanang this morning.

“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.

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

Leni Robredo’s resignation came about after she received a text message from Duterte, relayed by Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco,. It said that Robredo should desist from attending Cabinet meetings in the future, starting with the one scheduled this afternoon. Malacanang cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ between the two leaders as the reason why Duterte arrived at that decision.

“Cabinet Members are personally appointed by the President; and it is also his prerogative to withdraw the same for reasons known only to him. Cabinet Members accept the appointment with the implicit agreement that they agree with his program, platform and policies,” said Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, explaining the president’s move.

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“It is important that while one is a member of the Cabinet to express one’s views discreetly and not be adversarial publicly. If in any case a Member finds cause it is his/her prerogative to resign from the Cabinet. According to the President, ‘It is our duty to defend the dignity and integrity of the Filipino people. If Cabinet Members cannot agree with the President’s policy they are free to resign’,” he added.

Despite this explanation, lawmakers sympathetic to Robredo, especially those from the Liberal Party, criticized the president, and said she should have been accorded more respect.

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