- VP-elect Leni Robredo is unlikely to get any Cabinet post in the Duterte administration
- Duterte explained he doesn’t want to hurt Senator Bongbong Marcos by appointing Leni to a government position
- The incoming president acknowledged his relationship with the Marcoses
- He also noted his miserable loss in the Bicol region, Robredo’s bailiwick
MANILA, Philippines – Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte admitted he is not keen on appointing VP-elect Leni Robredo to a Cabinet post because of his ‘bond’ with defeated vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos.
In an interview with reporters on Tuesday, May 31, Duterte said he remains noncommittal on the possibility of Robredo joining his Cabinet despite earlier pronouncement from his camp that the Bicolana lawmaker will be offered a post that she prefers.
“You know why? Kilala ko si [I know] Bongbong Marcos, I do not want to hurt him,” Duterte said.
Marcos run with Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago but narrowly lost to Robredo in the May election. Last year he was rumored to have sought Duterte as runningmate but the talks eventually failed; with the latter opting for Senator Alan Peter Cayetano as VP bet.
Despite this, some groups have pushed for a Duterte-Marcos tandem during the campaign period.
Robredo, on the other hand, was the administration candidate who run with defeated presidentiable Mar Roxas. She won over Marcos by a slim margin of a little over 260,000 votes amid allegations of fraud.
No compelling reason
Duterte said he know Robredo will understand why he cannot give her a Cabinet post since she came from the rival camp who campaigned hard against his candidacy in the May 9 election.
“Si Leni, she should understand that she belongs to the opposite side. There is no law that exists that is a compelling reason for her to be a member of the Cabinet,” Duterte explained.
The President-elect also cited other reasons why he is not interested in appointing Robredo to his Cabinet, which is mainly because of his relationship with the Marcoses and his ‘miserable loss’ to Roxas in Bicol; the former Camarines Sur representative’s bailiwick.
“Now Bongbong, and even Mrs. Marcos, I knew they were for Duterte, no doubt about it. Only me knew it, that there is a certain bond between me and Bongbong,” said Duterte.
Duterte added appointing Robredo could not be construed as a reconciliatory move since there is nothing to reconcile about between the two of them, in the first place.
He also dismissed the possibility of appointing Marcos to a government position once the one-year ban on losing candidates is lifted.