President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is not keen on giving any position in his cabinet to Vice President-elect Leni Robredo.
In a press conference held Tuesday, May 31, at what they called Malacañang of Davao, President-elect Duterte said there was no compelling reason for him to make Robredo part of his official family.
“There’s no compelling reason for me to accommodate the Vice President. I’m sorry,” Duterte said.
Duterte cited political alliances as his reason not to give Robredo any cabinet position. He said it’s a political reality that he and his family have close political ties with the Marcoses noting he doesn’t want to hurt his friend Bongbong Marcos who lost to Robredo.
“Kaibigan ko si Bongbong. That is the political reality. My father (Vicente) was the Cabinet secretary of the late father [of Bongbong], besides, I won in Ilocos Norte,” Duterte said.
(Bongbong is my friend. That is the political reality. My father (Vicente) was the Cabinet secretary of the late father [of Bongbong], besides, I won in Ilocos Norte.)
“Non-committal ako diyan kasi kilala ko si Bongbong. I know Bongbong Marcos. I don’t want to hurt him. Leni will understand, she’s from the opposite side,” he added.
(I’m non-committal about it because I know Bongbong. I know Bongbong Marcos. I don’t want to hurt him. Leni will understand, she’s from the opposite side.)
Robredo won over Marcos in the vice presidential race with just a 263,473 vote margin.
Meanwhile, Vice President-elect Robredo humbly respected Duterte’s decision to not appoint her to any cabinet post.
In a statement, Robredo said with or without cabinet position she is focused on fulfilling her duty as the duly-elected vice president of the country.
“May posisyon man o wala, sisikapin kong matupad ang mga pangakong binitiwan ko sa ating mga kababayan sa abot ng aking makakaya,”
(With or without any position, I will try my best to fulfill the promises I made to our countrymen to the best of my ability.)
Early on, she also stressed that the president-elect is not duty bound to give her any cabinet position, adding she is not entitled to demand or ask to be appointed.
“Naiintindihan natin kasi prerogative naman niya kung sino iyung ia-appoint niya sa Gabinete. Siyempre, kahit sinong Presidente, i-a-appoint niya iyung buo iyung kanyang tiwala, buo ang kanyang paniniwala sa kakayahan nito,” Robredo said.
(We understand that it’s his prerogative to choose who to appoint to his cabinet. Of course, any president will appoint someone whom he/she fully trusts, whom he fully believes in their abilities.)
“From the very start naman, naiintindihan natin na wala naman akong karapatan mag-demand ng anything, wala nga akong karapatang mag-expect ng anything. Kung bibigyan, salamat. Kung hindi naman, magko-concentrate tayo sa pagiging pangalawang Pangulo,” she added.
(From the very start, we understand that I don’t have the right to demand and expect for anything. If given then we’ll be thankful, if not then we will focus on my duty as Vice President.)