Vice President Leni Robredo quits housing department

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Despite of former President Fidel V. Ramos’ advice to Vice President Leni Robredo to stay in the team of President Rodrigo Duterte as member of the cabinet during the Meet Inquirer Multimedia event of Inquirer last November, VP Robredo issued her official statement on December 4 regarding her resignation as Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Secretary immediately on December 5, 2016.

In her statement, she pointed that in barely five months, they have solid accomplishments in HUDCC. Despite the obstacles thrown at her including the slashing of the budget for all key shelter agencies in 2017 by more than P19 billion. She also noted that their key shelter agency appointment recommendations have not been acted on and the Executive Order designed to make HUDCC effective was not signed.

Here is the official statement of VP Robredo on her resignation as posted on her official website:

“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. From the very beginning, the President and I had major differences in principles and values. Since I assumed office, I have been consistent in my opposition to issues such as the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, extra-judicial killings, reinstating death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability, and sexual attacks against women.

But we both had a mandate to serve the people. I had hoped that this shared commitment to the poor and marginalized would transcend the differences between us. So, I took the job of Housing Secretary when it was offered to me.

In barely five months, we have solid accomplishments in HUDCC. This, despite the obstacles thrown our way, which are: 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.

Then, we received a text message last Saturday from Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, Jr., relaying the President’s instruction through Bong Go for me “to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, December 5.”

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. However, as your duly elected Vice President, I 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.”

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The housing chair was given to VP Robredo last July 2016 during a press conference with President Duterte when a member of the media asked him about the VP’s role in his cabinet. President Duterte immediately asked for VP Robredo’s number and offered the housing department to her.

Former Philippine Vice Presidents that became housing czar include Jejomar Binay and Noli de Castro.

 

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