Robredo faces Duterte at LEDAC meeting, pushes for bills
MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo expressed her thoughts to President Duterte on policy issues and sought clarifications about the administration’s legislative priorities on Monday night in their first encounter in Malacañang since she quit his Cabinet in 2016.
At the invitation of the Palace, Robredo participated in the first Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) with Mr. Duterte and leaders of Congress, including Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Her spokesperson Georgina Hernandez, in a statement, said the Vice President’s attendance had been mandatory.
“As a mandated member of LEDAC, Vice President Leni Robredo attended yesterday’s meeting to perform her legal duty to provide policy advice to the President,” she said on Tuesday.
Photographs of the meeting provided by the Office of the Vice President showed Robredo seated between Pimentel and Alvarez and right across Mr. Duterte.
Without giving details, Hernandez said the Vice President raised a number of “clarifications” about certain proposed bills prioritized by the Duterte administration, and pushed some legislative measures, including those on food security, freedom of information, anti-discrimination, and land use.
In the past, Robredo has expressed misgivings about some of Mr. Duterte’s legislative priorities, including proposals to restore the death penalty for heinous crimes and to lower the age of criminal responsibility.
Robredo, the interim chair of the Liberal Party, resigned her post as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council in December after President Duterte sent word to her staff that he did not want her attending Cabinet meetings due to their policy and political differences.
Hernandez said the LEDAC meeting focused on “determining and recommending socioeconomic development goals as well as integrating priority legislative agenda with the national development plan.”
“VP Leni assures our people that she remains fully committed to protect their interests and will continue to engage the administration on important policy issues,” the spokesperson said.
“Aside from the clarifications she raised in yesterday’s meeting regarding some of the proposed bills, our Office will submit in writing more detailed comments, including pushing for some measures which she considers to be most important for national development,” Hernandez said on Tuesday.
These include the National Food Security Bill, the Freedom of Information Bill, the People Empowerment Bill, the Land Use Bill, the On-site In-city or Near-city Bill, the Department of Housing Bill, the Urban Development and Housing Act amendments on eviction, and the Anti-Discrimination Bill. SFM/rga
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