Sidelined from Asean? No big deal, says Leni
Vice President Leni Robredo refused to be drawn further to a debate over whether she was sidelined in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit which Malacañang said the Duterte administration hosted successfully.
“It’s no big deal for me,” said the country’s second highest official in an interview in Marawi City, according to a transcript issued by Robredo’s office.
“I do not want to make it a larger issue,” she said. “I don’t want to dwell on it anymore because what’s more important is the larger event, not me.”
“For me, that’s nothing,” Robredo said. “It’s OK,” she added.
Detained Sen. Leila de Lima, a party mate of Robredo, had criticized officials involved in preparations for the summit for giving a major role to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now Pampanga legislator, in welcoming Asean delegates.
De Lima said it was a role traditionally given to the vice president.
Robredo said she was content with being invited to the opening ceremony and as a keynote speaker in the closing of the Asean Business and Investments Summit.
She said that while the Asean summit was “not perfect,” it led to substantial achievements, particularly the agreement protecting migrant workers’ rights in Asean countries.
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