He does not necessarily consider Vice President Leni Robredo a fierce enemy but President Duterte is apparently firm on excluding her from the Cabinet.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar explained yesterday that the President has cordial ties with the Vice President but he has prerogative in issuing government appointments as he starts his six year-term.
Duterte earlier said he was not inclined to give Robredo any Cabinet position so as not to hurt the feelings of his friend, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. who lost in the last vice presidential elections. The former Davao City mayor also claimed that there was no compelling reason to accommodate Robredo, saying she must understand she belongs to the rival political party.
“Ito po ay prerogative ng Presidente po kung bibigyan po ang isang Bise Presidente ng Cabinet post,” Andanar said over government radio when asked if the President’s decision not to appoint Robredo to the Cabinet was final.
Despite not being part of the official family, Andanar highlighted the warm relations between the President and the Vice President as seen in their cordial meeting last week.
The two leaders met for the first time during the Armed Forces change of command ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City last Friday. They shook hands and exchanged pleasantries while sharing the same stage for the military event. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)