Duterte, Robredo likely to discuss plans for new admin next week
DAVAO CITY—A meeting between the new leaders of the country may happen as early as Monday as both camps of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President-elect Leni Robredo have expressed willingness to discuss plans for the next administration.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday said the camp of Duterte was planning to set a meeting with Robredo to discuss her role in the new administration.
This is after both Duterte and Robredo sealed their victory in what Cayetano called an emotionally charged election as the Congress finished canvassing the votes for president and vice president on Friday.
In an interview in Naga City, meanwhile, Robredo said she would find a way to pay a courtesy visit to Duterte and assure him of her 100 percent support for his administration.
Robredo said she planned to speak with Duterte on Monday during their proclamation in Congress. Duterte, however, said in previous interviews that he was not interested to attend a “corny” event like the president’s proclamation, which is deemed historic by many.
Asked what she wanted to tell Duterte during their first meeting, Robredo said: “Nararapat lang na i-aassure ko siya na he has my 100 percent support and cooperation. Hindi obligasyon lamang kay Pangulong Duterte, pero obligasyon sa taumbayan na iyong ’pag kaming dalawa ay magkasundo ay makikinabang lamang noon ay ang ating mga kababayan.”
Cayetano, before hitting the court for a basketball game with Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao at Almendras Gym in this city, told the media that Duterte had been reviewing every day the names for the Cabinet posts, including the position which could possibly be given to the incoming Vice President.
“From day one, napapag-isipan naman ’yung possibly na mabibigay sa VP-elect at ite-tailor din namin ito sa naririnig namin sa kampanya na gusto niyang hawakan,” said Cayetano, who had conceded to Robredo few days after the May 9 polls.
During the campaign, the Liberal Party’s vice presidential candidate would always say in media interviews that instead of holding a Cabinet-level agency, she wanted to focus on streamlining antipoverty programs.
Robredo reiterated this during her Saturday interview in Naga. But she also maintained that she was not in the position to defy the President’s order should she be appointed to a Cabinet post.
“Ang sa akin kasi, iyong Cabinet portfolio, palagay ko wala naman akong karapatang mag-demand sa kanya. Kung tatanungin ako ng preference, sasabihin ko. Pero iyong authority na mag-appoint o magbigay sa akin ng karagdagang trabaho, sole authority iyon ng Pangulo. Kahit ano ang pagdesisyunan niya, irerespeto natin,” Robredo said.
Cayetano said they were aware of Robredo’s choice and that the new President himself would consider it as he studies the composition of the Cabinet members.
“Ang narinig ko sa kanya (Robredo) ang gusto niya i-coordinate ‘yung propoor programs at gusto niyang matanggal ang mga antipoor barriers so we don’t know if that calls for a new office or something like an upgraded National Anti-Poverty Commission but definitely may consideration anong gusto ni Leni at ng Pangulo,” he said.
Cayetano also asked the erstwhile ruling LP to cooperate with the Duterte administration if ever the incoming President decides to include Robredo in his Cabinet.
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