Duterte spokesman surprised by Robredo’s Cabinet exit
MANILA — Even President Duterte’s primary spokesman was surprised by his decision to bar Vice President Leni Robredo from attending the Cabinet meeting.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday admitted he did not expect the Vice President to be leaving the Duterte administration as housing czar this soon.
In her short stint as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDDCC) chair, he said Robredo was able to defend the interests of the shelter agency tasked to oversee the government’s housing programs.
“It’s sad that it had to end this way,” Andanar told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a chance interview in Malacañang.
Asked if Robredo’s sudden departure from the Cabinet came as a surprise, he said: “I don’t know these things were happening behind the scenes.”
“(Am I) surprised? Yes, because it’s still too early in the game. There’s so much work to be done,” he added. “But in terms of differences in opinions (of the President and the Vice President), I wasn’t surprised… naturally because she came from a different party.”
Andanar said he immediately called Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go when he learned of the Vice President’s resignation from the tweet of her spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez.
The Palace official said Robredo provided “very intelligent and insightful ideas in so many things” during the Cabinet meetings.
Said Andanar. “She also always fought for her department’s interests… She was never remiss in those opportunities when she had to put her foot down for HUDCC.”
“We’re all thankful for her service and we hope we could still work with her in the future,” he added. SFM/rga
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