- VP Robredo paid a courtesy visit to Pres. Duterte at Malacañang; their second meeting after their official assumption of office
- Robredo described the meeting as ‘very cordial’ and the President as ‘very accommodating’
- She also revealed Duterte wants her to visit Malacañang more often as part of the current administration
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has opened the Malacañang door for his second-in-command and urges Vice President Leni Robredo to visit him there as often as she could; the two being part of the same administration, anyway.
Robredo made this revelation after the courtesy call to the President at Malacañang on Monday, July 4.
Duterte and Robredo appeared to have started on the wrong foot after the elected president announced he is not keen on giving his VP a Cabinet post in the current administration and hinted at his preference for Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos; the latter’s defeated rival.
But on their first private meeting, Robredo described the exchanges between them as ‘very cordial’ and she was allowed the opportunity to express her support for her Chief Executive.
She also described the President as ‘very accommodating’ and even admitted he was himself planning to set up the meeting between them so they could talk personally.
“He was telling me naunahan mo lang ako [you got me first]. I was really planning to invite you over,” Robredo quoted Duterte as telling her.
The two reportedly exchanged notes on protocols, which they admit are both new and strange to them, and even talked about family matters.
But it was towards the end of the closed-door discussion that Duterte finally offered Robredo what could be the start of the healing process in the present administration which appeared to have been off to a rocky start earlier.
“Noong paalis na ako ang sabi niya sa akin, ‘Basta aalalayan mo ako sa trabaho.’ Ang sabi ko naman sa kanya, ‘Iiwan ko po ang number ko sa staff ninyo. Kung may gusto kayong ipagawa, tawagan na lang ako ng staff ninyo,'” Rappler quoted Robredo as saying.
[As I was leaving, he told me, ‘Just support my job’. I told him ‘I will leave my number to your staff. If you have anything you want done, your staff can call me.]
The former Camarines Sur representative said they did not set any specific date for a meeting but the President urged her to visit him more often so they could be updated with information on the country’s situation.
“Ang sabi niya, ‘Mas dalasan mo ang pagpunta dito dahil bahagi ka ng administrasyon.’ Sabi niya nga, ‘Mas mabuti ang nalalaman ko na sitwasyon sa bansa ay alam mo rin,'” she added.
[He said, ‘Please come here more often because you’re part of the administration.’ And he added, ‘It is better that you also know what I know about the country’s situation.]
However, Robredo clarified his meeting with Duterte was not to seek a position and only to personally convey her support for the President.