Duterte: No Cabinet post for Leni Robredo

Jojo Malig, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 31 2016 08:48 PM | Updated as of May 31 2016 10:03 PM

Senator Bongbong Marcos, Vice President-elect Leni Robredo and President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. ABS-CBN News

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he will not be appointing Vice President-elect Leni Robredo to any Cabinet post.

Duterte, in a press conference in Davao City where his incoming Cabinet members were announced, said he never said that Robredo would get a Cabinet post.

"There is no law which is a compelling reason for her to be a member of the Cabinet," he said.

When asked if there is a scheduled meeting with Robredo, Duterte's answer was a curt "No."

He added that Senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., who lost to Robredo, is his friend.

"Kaibigan ko si Bongbong. That is the political reality. My father (Vicente) was the Cabinet secretary of the late father [of Bongbong]," Duterte said. "Besides, I won in Ilocos Norte."

Vicente Duterte, a former Davao governor, was the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos' Cabinet Secretary for General Services in the latter's first term as president.

Duterte got 103,394 votes in Ilocos Norte. Jojo Binay was second with 66,007, Miriam Santiago was third with 64,375, Grace Poe was fourth with 61,012, and Mar Roxas last with 13,162.

Duterte said he is not reserving a Cabinet position for Marcos. "No. He didn't even ask for it."

Robredo earlier said she has no right to demand a Cabinet post.

"Naiintindihan natin kasi prerogative naman niya kung sino iyung ia-appoint niya sa Gabinete. Siyempre, kahit sinong Presidente, i-a-appoint niya iyung buo iyung kanyang tiwala, buo ang kanyang paniniwala sa kakayahan nito," Robredo said Monday.

Robredo, the administration Liberal Party candidate, said she understands that Duterte is prioritizing his trusted allies to key executive posts.

She stressed that Duterte is not obliged to give her a post in the Cabinet, nor is she entitled to ask for one. But, she also maintained that she is ready for any appointment Duterte may give.

"Handa naman tayo, kung bibigyan, hindi bibigyan, ano iyung ibibigay. From the very start naman, naiintindihan natin na wala naman akong karapatan mag-demand ng anything, wala nga akong karapatang mag-expect ng anything," she said.

"Kung bibigyan, salamat. Kung hindi naman, magko-concentrate tayo sa pagiging pangalawang Pangulo," she added.

Duterte spokesman Peter Laviña earlier said Robredo "will not be a flower vase'' in the incoming government.