VP Leni to step down as Liberal Party chair on June 30
MANILA, Philippines — Once her term ends on June 30, Vice President Leni Robredo will no longer be chair of the opposition Liberal Party as she sets her eyes on a new ambitious role: to helm the Angat Buhay Foundation that will be launched on July 1.
But so far, the party associated with the Aquino family has yet to discuss who will take over from Robredo, her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said in a TV interview on Tuesday.
It’s also unclear whether the vice president, who will become a private citizen by then, will resign from the Liberal Party.
As for the once ruling party, whose numbers were decimated even further after the May 9 elections, Gutierrez mused that it was now possible that “some new movement, bigger than any individual party, would emerge.”
“Even during the campaign, the people who came out and became part of what is now called the pink movement, many of them were not affiliated at all with the Liberal Party. Many, in fact, were ordinary citizens who just felt the call to participate in what they felt was [a] historic and important election,” he said.
Gutierrez said that while their respective teams had gotten in touch with each other for the transition process, Vice President-elect Sara Duterte has not sought a private meeting with Robredo.
He clarified, however, that Robredo would be “very happy” to meet with her successor.
“But as of now, there has been no request made. It’s been — the initial meeting is between the teams. So we’ll wait and see. We have 30 days to go,” he told ANC’s “Headstart” host Karen Davila.
Robredo recently arrived in Manila from a two-week vacation in the United States where she attended her youngest daughter Jillian’s graduation from New York University.
Gutierrez said Robredo was “good” and “at peace” with the results of the elections, which saw former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. winning by a landslide.
While Robredo has yet to formally concede the race, Gutierrez assured the public that she would “definitely attempt to address that in the remaining 30 days.”
“There is time. I will say, though, Karen, that we waited for six years and, on our end, that was never given to us in the aftermath of the 2016 elections,” Gutierrez said, referring to the drawn-out poll protest filed by Marcos Jr. after Robredo beat him for the vice presidency.
“But as you’ve said, it’s a matter of being gracious and the Vice President is someone who’s always been very gracious in all her interactions with people she has met through her office,” he added.
Unlike Robredo, who held no extended Cabinet position for much of her term, Duterte would be at the helm of the Department of Education.
Robredo’s lack of a Cabinet position prompted her to transform the Office of the Vice President from a ceremonial office to one with several programs and initiatives on disaster and COVID-19 response, and medical and educational assistance, among others.