Duterte accepts Vice President’s resignation from cabinet

Manila, Dec 5 (IANS) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday accepted the resignation of his Vice President Leni Robredo who quit after she was told to “desist” from attending the future cabinet meetings, media reported.

“It is with a heavy heart that I accept the resignation of Vice President Leni Robredo,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar quoted the President as saying, Xinhua news agency reported.

Robredo’s letter of resignation as the chairwoman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) addressed to the President was formally received by the Office of Executive Secretary.

Robredo said, in her letter, that she had initially accepted the position, despite her differences in opinions and policies with the President, because of their shared commitment to help the poor and marginalised.

“I have exerted all efforts to put aside our differences, maintain a professional working relationship and work effectively despite the constraints because the Filipino people deserve no less. However, 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,” she added.

The President, through Leoncio Evasco, the incumbent Secretary of the cabinet, instructed Robredo to desist from attending Cabinet meetings starting from December 5.

Evasco, who texted the President’s instruction to Robredo, said Duterte mentioned that his “irreconcilable differences” with the Vice President prompted the directive.

Evasco, in a statement, said cabinet members accept their appointments with the implicit agreement that they agree with Duterte’s programme, platform and policies.

“While there may be matters they take issue with, these are to be handled consensually because it is vital for the cabinet to be united. It is important that while one is a member of the cabinet to express one’s views discreetly and not be adversarial publicly,” Evasco added.

–IANS

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