Philippines VP Leni Robredo quits cabinet after Duterte bans her from cabinet meetings

While Robredo will quit the cabinet, she will remain as the vice president.

Philippines VP Leni Robredo resigns after Duterte 'bans her from cabinet meetings'
Philippine Vice-presidential candidate and congresswoman Leni Robredo gestures as she talks to her supporters during a campaign rally in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines May 4, 2016 . REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Philippines Vice-President Leni Robredo resigned from President Rodrigo Duterte's cabinet on Sunday, saying there are "major differences in principles and values" with the president.

Robredo, who made her mark as a human rights lawyer, was the housing secretary in the cabinet, an appointment that Duterete made after coming to power. Robredo's resignation came in the wake of her stated differences with the President over the administration's two key actions in recent times -- the hero's burial given to former president Ferdinand Marcos and the brutal crackdown on and extra judicial killing of drug suspects.

However, the chain of events leading to the resignation has been variously interpreted. The latest is the claim that Robredo resigned after the cabinet secretary conveyed to her the president's decision that she should not attend cabinet meetings.

Martin Andanar, Presidential Communications Secretary, told CNN Philippines that the cabinet secretary sent Robredo a text message with instructions from the President to desist from attending Cabinet meetings. He revealed that the President had lost his trust in the Vice President.

"Reading between the lines, it is saying that the President no longer has the confidence and the trust to be in one room with the Vice President," Andanar said.

While Robredo will quit the cabinet, she will remain as the vice president. Presidents and vice presidents are separately elected n the Philippines and they can come from rival political parties.

"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 fulfil their dream for a better life," Robredo said.

Last week, the head of Philippines' historical commission resigned protesting against the grand burial for former despot Marcos.

Robredo said she will choose to ignore warnings of "a plot to steal the vice presidency" from her but did not elaborate on the details. The 52-year-old's election has been challenged by Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, the son of the late dictator, who lost to her by a narrow margin.