Updated 17:00 PM PHT Mon, December 5, 2016
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — When it comes to the working relationship between President Rody Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo, Duterte's chief communications men said there are differences between the two leaders.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Spokesman Ernie Abella shared what they thought of Robredo's resignation as the housing czar of Duterte's Cabinet.
In a phone interview with CNN Philippines correspondent Anna Estanislao, Andanar said Duterte and Robredo have irreconcilable differences.
"There are several policies, statements that the VP released in the past few days and months, which are contrary to the policies of the President. It has come to the point that the President realized that [he and Robredo] have irreconcilable differences," Andanar said.
Robredo announced her resignation as the chair of the Housing Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) on Sunday night.
In her statement, Robredo said she and Duterte hold different opinions on the following issues: 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.
"Regarding differences, these are to be expected... Differences like these are part of the democratic process," Abella told CNN Philippines.
But he said Cabinet members who have opposing views from Duterte - such as DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, a vocal protester against Marcos' burial -continue to work well with the President.
In the Communications Office's statement on Robredo's resignation, Andanar said a Cabinet member, "enjoys the full trust and confidence of the President for he or she acts as the President's alter ego."
"Having said this, the President entrusted the Vice President, whom we all know came from a rival political party, a position in his official family in deference to the wishes of our people who want both leaders to work together and succeed," the statement said.
Abella said Malacañang has yet to receive Robredo's formal resignation letter. He added that by now, the President might have already been informed of Robredo's public statement.
Contrary to Robredo's statement, Abella said Malacañang is not aware of the plot to steal the vice presidency from Robredo.
"As far as I know, the relationship [between Duterte and Robredo] seems warm and there seems to be good rapport in the Cabinet meetings," Abella said.
Robredo, in her statement, said she received a text message from Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, Jr. telling her to "desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, December 5."
Robredo's resignation takes effect on the said date.
Andanar confirmed that Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, as instructed by Duterte, did ask Evasco to relay this message to Robredo.
Andanar said Malacañang has not yet talked about Robredo's replacement, but this matter might be discussed at tomorrow's Cabinet meeting.
But he assured the public that the HUDCC will continue to be run efficiently.
"We'd like to assure the country that HUDCC will still run and it will be run efficiently. The advocacies of the VP, especially in the area of helping the poor, is also an advocacy that we share and the President shares," Andanar said.
CNN Philippines' Anna Estanislao contributed to this report.