VP can get choice Cabinet position: Duterte spokesman


MANILA - It is still a neck and neck battle between Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and Senator Bongbong Marcos for the vice presidency. 

While nothing is definitive yet about their race, a spokesperson of presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte said the winning vice-president may get any Cabinet position he or she wants.

Duterte's spokesperson Peter Laviña said in a press conference on Friday that the President is willing to give any Cabinet position to the winning vice-president.

While Laviña was careful not to name anyone, it seemed that he is anticipating the winner to be Robredo.

"We have not determined who will be the VP. But we have already said that there will be a Cabinet position for whoever wins. And it will not be a, as I said earlier as a joke, it will not be a flower vase," Laviña said. 

[ READ: Robredo 'no flower vase' in Duterte gov't ]

"Mayor is a very generous person naman. He can deal with anyone. So, it will be a post that will be mutually discussed between the two highest positions in the land... Baka may personal preference ang winning vice president, so we can immediately say that this post is vacant and that she can take it if she wants, di ba? Or she can hand to the president-elect a list of her preferences," he added, referring to the next vice-president in a feminine pronoun.

Laviña, however, clarified that the executive secretary position is not up for grabs.

"All the positions are possible, except of course executive secretary. It's the only one siguro na non-negotiable because it is a full-time job. Number one among equals. Plenty of work for the executive secretary. But down the line, I think it's open," Laviña said.

Asked if the vice-president will have a free hand in choosing the Cabinet position and in recommending appointees, Laviña said this may not be a possibility at all since Robredo, as he mentioned, is polite enough not to demand for herself.

"It's not really a free hand. I don't think the personality of Cong Leni, if we are talking about Congresswoman Leni Robredo, I don’t think she's the type that will demand or will present herself," Laviña explained.

"I think she will be polite to ask the incoming President what also will be fitting for her so she can contribute to the administration," he added.

Meanwhile, not a few noticed that Duterte has been missing from the public eye in the past few days.

His executive assistant Bong Go said the presumptive president is taking a rest to recover from fatigue caused by the campaign period.