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Leni to resign as HUDCC chief, vows to protect vice presidency

Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Secretary Maria Leonor V. Robredo, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr., and Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II, attend the Cabinet Orientation Workshop at the Premier Guest House in Malacañan Palace on July 11, Monday. PPD/Robinson Niñal, File

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday announced that she will resign from President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet on Monday, December 5.

Robredo, the current Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) secretary, said that she received a text last Saturday from Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, Jr., relaying the president’s instruction through Bong Go for her “to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, December 5.” She said Duterte’s directive prompted her to resign.

“This is the last straw, because it makes it impossible for me to perform my duties. Hence, I am tendering my resignation from the Cabinet on Monday, December 5, 2016,” Robredo said in a statement.

“With this resignation, you can expect that I will continue to support the positive initiatives of this administration and oppose those that are inimical to the people’s interest,” she added.

In her statement, Robredo revealed that her camp has been warned of a plot to steal her vice presidency. She admitted that from the start she and the president had major differences in principles and values.

The vice president cited their opposing views on issues such as the burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, extra-judicial killings, reinstating the death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability and sexual attacks against women.

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She, however, said that since they both have the mandate to serve the people she hoped that their shared commitment to the poor and marginalized is something that will put their differences aside hence, she took the HUDCC post offered to her.

“We had hoped this day would not come. 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.

Robredo vowed that she 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,” Robredo concluded.

Robredo was appointed in the housing post last July. She said that in a span of five months, there have been solid accomplishments while there are also obstacles including the slashing of the agency's budget by more than P19 billion, inaction on her shelter agency appointment recommendations and the unsigned Executive Order designed to make HUDCC effective.

RELATED: Leni thanks Rody for HUDCC post | VP Leni joins first Cabinet meeting

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