- President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo meet personally for the very first time
- Their personal encounter was at the turnover ceremonies of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
- Robredo said the president agreed for her to schedule a courtesy visit to him
The Philippines’ top two executives have finally met each other face-to-face a month after they officially won the elections.
President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo personally met during the turnover ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines a day after their inaugurations on June 30.
The two exchanged their pleasantries as they greeted each other with smiles. Duterte did not fail to practice some of his antics to his blooming deputy.
“This is the first time that I meet you personally, ma’am,” he said.
And quipped in mixed language: “I would have preferred to be seated beside you, but [the] Defense [Secretary], [is in between us].”
Duterte also did not fail to be a gentleman as he offered a drink to Robredo, which she politely declined.
Prior to the meeting, there was tension between the two camps since Duterte did not commit to giving Robredo a cabinet position.
The former Davao City mayor previously said that he does not know Robredo personally and that he does not want to hurt the feelings of his close friend, then Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Marcos and Robredo had a very tight vice presidential race. Robredo won by a very slim margin of over 200,000 votes, which the Marcos’ camp contested repeatedly until they filed an electoral protest before the Supreme Court on June 29.
Duterte and Robredo also had separate inaugural ceremonies; a first in the country’s history.
Robredo had an earlier oath-taking at 10:00 in the morning at the Quezon City Reception House where she will hold office.
Duterte, on the other hand, took his oath at 12:00 noon at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang. Marcos was present in Duterte’s inauguration.
But teamwork between Duterte and Robredo may soon start as the vice president confirmed she is setting up a meeting with the president.
“Sinabi ko sa kaniya kung puwede akong magpa-set ng courtesy visit as soon as possible. Sabi niya, ‘Anytime.’ So magpapa-set ako,” she said in a GMA News Online story.
[I asked him if I can set a courtesy visit as soon as possible. He said ‘anytime’. So I will schedule one wth him.]