Philippine Vice-President Leni Robredo says there is a plot to oust her

Philippine Vice-President Leni Robredo said on Dec 4, 2016 she was told that President Rodrigo Duterte had barred her from cabinet meetings.
Philippine Vice-President Leni Robredo said on Dec 4, 2016 she was told that President Rodrigo Duterte had barred her from cabinet meetings. PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - Philippine Vice-President Leni Robredo said Sunday (Dec 4) she was told that President Rodrigo Duterte had barred her from Cabinet meetings, and alleged there was a plot to oust her as his deputy.

Mrs Robredo, who said she would resign from the Cabinet, did not say who was behind the alleged plot to remove her as vice-president.

But she cited differences with Mr Duterte, such as over the rash of extrajudicial killings during his "war on drugs" and the hero's burial granted to dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

In the Philippines the president and vice-president are elected separately. Mr Duterte and Mrs Robredo come from rival parties.

"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 in motion," Mrs Robredo said in a statement on her Facebook page.

"I will not allow the Vice-Presidency to be stolen" despite leaving the Cabinet, she said.

"We received a text (SMS) message last Saturday from Cabinet Secretary (Leoncio) Evasco, relaying the President's instruction... 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," Mrs Robredo said.

She had been named to the Cabinet as a housing official.