Pacific News Minute: Philippines VP Resigns From Cabinet In Bitter Dispute With President Duterte

Dec 7, 2016

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Earlier this week, Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo went on National Television to announce her resignation as a cabinet minister and declare plans to lead the opposition against President Roderigo Duterte. We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Leni Robredo will stay on as Vice President at least for now.  In her speech on Monday, she said there was a plot underway to steal the vice presidency.  She gave no details, but said "There are some members of the cabinet who don't want me there, but Bongbong Marcos instead."

That's Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator who finished a very close second to Robredo in last May's election.  In the Philippines, the President and Vice President are elected separately. Marcos has petitioned the Supreme Court for a recount and Robredo noted that President Duterte brought Bongbong Marcos along on his recent trip to China, and introduced him there as his prospective Vice President. 

Her differences with President Duterte include reinstatement of the death penalty, the summary execution of thousands in a brutal crackdown on drugs, his crude remarks about women and his decision to allow the burial of Senator Marcos' long dead father in the Cemetary of Heroes last month. "Marcos was a thief, a murderer and a dictator," she wrote on her Facebook page."He is no hero."

Even so, she said the last straw was a text message last week telling her to stop coming to cabinet meetings, which she said left her no choice but to resign as Minister of Housing.

Leni Robredo cut her political teeth in the People Power Revolution that overthrew Ferdinand Marcos. She worked as a human rights lawyer and ran for office following the death of her husband in a plane crash four years ago.