MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said he had no choice but to ask Vice President Leni Robredo to stop attending Cabinet meetings because he cannot bear to face someone who, he believes, supports his ouster.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Duterte said he was uncomfortable about Robredo supporting rallies and demonstrations calling for his ouster.
"Ang problema kasi niyan, out in the streets pumupunta siya, eh malaki ang power, oust Duterte. Ikaw, alam mo ang taga-Davao. 'Yang mga oust Duterte, alam mo 'yan hindi 'yan sa left because ang left, Duterte talaga 'yan, noon pa. I became mayor for so many years because sa tulong nila. Sa bukid, puro Duterte 'yan. Andiyan 'yung NPA. Eh di 'yang mga yellow 'yan," he said,
"Ngayon nandiyan siya, oust Duterte. Kinabukasan, kaharap ko siya sa Cabinet meeting, for example, or a day or two weeks after. Don't you think it's the height of incongruity to be facing somebody, to be there at the same time to be here?" Duterte added.
According to Duterte, he didn't have any problem with Robredo releasing statements against his policies and decisions, but seeing her supposedly joining demonstrations was the last straw.
"Kung statement, the burial, pero kung pumupunta siya, nandoon pa si Roxas or the yellow. Eh ang yelo kasi sa probinsiya, ice eh. Eh matagal nang natunaw 'yan. Wala akong magawa eh. So, her ouster from the Cabinet, from that time on, became a fait accompli," he said.
He did not say which protest activity Robredo joined after Marcos' burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"I was the one. I decided ito. I have the last say," Duterte said.
Robredo, however, was not seen in any of the anti-Marcos burial protests in Luneta Park in Manila and at the People Power Monument along EDSA in Quezon City last November.
She, however, attended the annual honoring of heroes at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani.
The Vice President had also laughed off accusations that she funded the so-called "Black Protest" in Luneta on November 25.
Robredo tendered her resignation as chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council early December, after she was told to stop attending Cabinet meetings.