Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo did not leave President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet to lead members of the opposition against the administration, her spokesman said on Wednesday.

In a tweet, Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez belied Palace spokesman Harry Roque’s claim that the vice president willingly left the Duterte Cabinet.

“Ayoko na sanang patulan pero sobrang sinungaling e. ‘Pinili’ daw ni VP Leni na umalis sa Gabinete para maging lider ng oposisyon. Hay naku, magsisinungaling na lang andali pang hulihin,” Gutierrez said.

A screenshot of a text message from a “Cabsec Jun,” presumably ex-Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, Jr., was attached in the tweet, which read: “[Good] afternoon Madam Vice President. Mayor Rody Duterte thru Bong Go asked me to relay to you his instruction for you to desist from attending all Cabinet [meetings] starting this Monday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m. Ty.”

Robredo resigned from her post as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council under the president’s Cabinet on Dec. 5, 2016 because of Duterte’s instruction.

In 2019, Robredo was named into the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs but was removed in just 19 days.

Robredo recently said that she was willing to give Duterte a Cabinet post should she reverse roles with Duterte in 2022, and that she did not want to do what Duterte did to her.

In response, Roque said: “Parang napakaikli naman po ng memorya ng ating vice president. Nakalimutan ba po niya na binigyan siya ng Cabinet post ng ating presidente, pero mas pinili niya na maging leader ng oposisyon kaysa magtayo ng mga pabahay para sa ating mga kababayan?”

Robredo and Duterte have yet to formally announce their 2022 national election bids. John Ezekiel J. Hirro