No VIPs at Leni’s oath-taking
THERE will be “no VIPs” at the oath-taking of Vice President-elect Leni Robredo on June 30.
Only close family members, including her three daughters Aika, Tricia and Jillian, and “the people who have been part of my journey,” have been invited to the modest ceremony on June 30, the outgoing Camarines Sur congresswoman said on Sunday.
Not even President Aquino, who actively campaigned for her and her defeated running mate, Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party, was expected to join her at the event, she said.
“Probably not, because he will be at the turnover for President-elect [Rodrigo] Duterte. They will still follow the tradition of the outgoing President welcoming the incoming President,” Robredo said in an interview in Japan, a transcript of which was provided by her staff.
A senior member of Robredo’s staff said they “had no idea” whether Roxas would be coming.
“We made sure to invite the people who have been part of the campaign and really supported us—the volunteers and workers who worked tirelessly during the campaign,” Robredo said.
She said she also requested the inauguration committee to include representatives from the sectors whose interests she always fought for, including poor women, farmers and others on the margins of society.
“This is symbolic of the direction I want to take as the Vice President,” she said.
She said only about 300 people could be accommodated at the Quezon City Reception House in New Manila, where she would be sworn into office by two barangay chairs, including one from the “smallest, farthest and poorest” village in her home district in Camarines Sur.
“In fact, we’re doing it outside the building because the office is really small,” Robredo said of the Quezon City building, where she will also hold office.
Duterte has decided not to invite Robredo in his inaugural in Malacañang on June 30, flouting the tradition of the country’s top two leaders being sworn into office together.
Robredo said she would hold meetings as soon as she was sworn into office.
“We understand that the Office of the Vice President has very limited resources. We have many advocacies we want to advance and many of these are antipoverty programs,” she said.
With so few resources and too little funding, Robredo said she would spend her first 100 days forging partnerships with the private sector for her projects.
“I am happy that many [companies] have expressed a desire to partner with us. In fact, we have initial meetings already and we will spend our first 100 days focusing on this,” she said. DJ Yap
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