Duterte also bans CHED chairwoman from Cabinet meetings

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2016 10:05 AM | Updated as of Dec 05 2016 08:31 PM

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo was not the only official instructed by President Rodrigo Duterte to stop attending all Cabinet meetings.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan confirmed Monday that she received the same order from the Chief Executive through Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Jun Evasco, Jr.

"On Sunday, I received a text message from Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Jun Evasco, Jr. relaying President Rodrigo Duterte's instruction to stop attending Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, 05 December, 2 p.m.," Licuanan said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.

She said she has assured Evasco that she will comply with the President's order.

"In the meantime, I will continue to work as Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education," she added.

Licuanan was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as CHED chairperson. Her second four-year term expires in 2018.

Duterte earlier floated the idea of replacing Licuanan with David Lapuz, his former professor, according to Ateneo de Davao President Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J.

Robredo announced Sunday she would resign from her cabinet post, citing "major differences" with Duterte and suspicions that a plot was underway to unseat her from the number two job.

Robredo is refusing to step down as vice president but said she decided to quit as Housing Secretary after receiving a text message from Evasco, telling her on Duterte's behalf to "desist from attending all cabinet meetings" from Monday.