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Vice President Leni Robredo says she's stepping down as HUDCC chairperson after being told to 'desist from attending all Cabinet meetings' MANILA, Philippines – "This is the last straw." Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday, December 4, said she was quitting her post as President Rodrigo Duterte's housing chief on Monday, December 5. In a statement released by her office late Sunday, Robredo said her resignation was prompted by Duterte's order for her "to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, December 5."

The order was given through a text message sent by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, who in turn was relaying instructions given by Duterte through Special Assistant to the President Bong Go. "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. 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," said Robredo. Prior to this, Robredo said she encountered "obstacles" in her role as Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairperson, caused by an apparent lack of support from the executive branch. "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," the Vice President said.

Robredo ran under the then-ruling Liberal Party (LP) during the May 2016 elections while Duterte was the standard-bearer of the now-ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). Duterte and many LP personalities have been at odds since the campaign period. In a speech, Duterte claimed the LP was out to oust him, even if it does not have a majority in either the Senate and the House of Representatives. Robredo, the LP member with the highest elective post, denied these allegations.

source:www.rappler.com, news.abs-cbn.com,newsinfo.inquirer.net

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