Rody-Leni a perfect mix, says analyst

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Despite contrasting leadership styles, incoming president Rodrigo Duterte and vice president apparent Leni Robredo may deliver good partnership, a political analyst said Monday.

Dean Julio Teehankee of De La Salle University-College of Liberal Arts said Monday that under Duterte and Robredo, Philippines will see a "perfect mix" of parental guidance.

"We are seeing two styles, and then from a regime narrative, we are seeing the disciplinarian father, and the nurturing mother. I think it’s a perfect mix, but I hope they don't fight on the first year" he said on ANC's Headstart.

He highlighted the differences in their leadership styles, with Duterte's "Davao-style of local governance," and Robredo following the grassroots-style, "participatory style of good governance at the local level" popularized by her late husband Jesse Robredo.

Teehankee said it is also not surprising that Duterte is prioritizing allies, to whom he owes some favors, over appointing Robredo to any Cabinet post.

READ: Duterte says no cabinet post yet for Robredo

"This is to be expected because they’re both from different political alliances. Plus, given the heated competition during the last election, I think the president-elect is still weighing his options as to where to actually place vice-president-elect Leni Robredo," he said.

Save for 2004, Teehankee noted that the Filipinos have voted for presidents and vice-presidents from different tickets and have had to adjust their Cabinet assignments.

President Fidel V. Ramos especially created the "Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force" for his vice-president, Joseph Estrada.

And when Estrada rose to the presidency, Teehankee said he held a meeting with his vice-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was assigned to head the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).


Teehankee lauded Duterte's choice to not use MalacaƱang, but maintained that Duterte "should get out of Davao."

"He should get out of Davao; but not necessarily in Manila because our political history has been dominated by what others call the ‘Imperial Manila'," he said.

"That’s a very good move. For the first time, you will have a president who will not be based in Manila, but outside Manila. This might help spur growth and development in other regions, in other provinces as well," he added, but also maintained the demands of the presidency will force him to come to Manila.

Teehankee said this is part of the emerging 'maverick presidency' being spurned by Duterte as part of his campaign narrative--and seemingly, regime narrative--of change.

"He was elected to get things done, and he’s the type of president, and for the first time we’ll see a president who does not have any interest in the trappings of the presidency, the ceremonial aspect," he said.

However, Duterte's choices of Cabinet members drew flak, with many still in search for new faces and young leaders in a gender-equal Cabinet patterned after Canada's Justin Trudeau's.

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Teehankee said it is only natural for a president to tap his nearest and dearest as the first recruits into the administration.

"He needs people that are familiar to him. He is going to work with people that is close to him. And it is necessary that he has a certain comfort level with these people," he said.

"Obviously, in any presidential administration, the first people that you will recruit to your administration, your Cabinet are the people that you trust and the people you can be yourself with," he added.

Teehankee also refuted analyses that Duterte has built a 'team of rivals' in his cabinet, saying what he has built was a 'team of veterans.'

"One thing that observers failed to see in this Cabinet the President Duterte is building is that they are all veterans of three past administrations—in fact, four," he said

READ: Duterte's KKK: Kababayan, kaklase, kasama

Among those he named to have served under President Corazon Aquino are Carlos Dominguez (Finance Secretary), Jesus Dureza (Peace Adviser), and Silvestre Bello III (Chief Peace Negotiator).

Bello has also served under different capacities under the Ramos and Arroyo administrations.

Perfecto Yasay, Jr. (Foreign Affairs Secretary) served as Securities and Exchange chief under Ramos and Estrada, while Salvador Medialdea (Executive Secretary) served under Estrada as his assistant for political affairs.

Alfonso Cusi (Energy Secretary), meanwhile served in various capacities under the Arroyo administration.