Palace respects Duterte’s decision not to give Robredo cabinet post

MANILA – Malacanang on Tuesday said the decision of newly-proclaimed President Rodrigo Duterte not to give Vice President-elect Leni Robredo a Cabinet position should be respected.

”We should respect his decision, even that pertaining to VP-elect Robredo,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message to the Malacanang Press Corps.

Duterte reportedly said his priority is to give the Cabinet posts to the people whom he can trust and can help his administration.

The incumbent Davao City mayor said it never crossed to his mind that he will give Robredo “any position in the Cabinet.”

”It is President-elect Duterte’s right to choose who will compose his Cabinet,” Coloma said.

Last Monday, the Congress, sitting as the national board of canvassers, proclaimed Duterte and Robredo as winners of the presidential and vice presidential elections last May 9.

After her proclamation, Robredo promised to work harder even without a Cabinet post.

”I understand him because a Cabinet secretary is the President’s alter ego. He has no obligation to appoint me to any Cabinet position. Although that is always an option,” the Camarines Sur congresswoman told the media.

Robredo, a widow of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash in August 2012, was the candidate of the ruling Liberal Party but her running mate president Mar Roxas lost in the presidential race.

Duterte and Robredo who edged Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos by only more than 200,000 votes, will assume their six-year term starting July 1. Jelly Musico/ PNA/