Cordial at first sight: Duterte, Robredo meet

Thea Alberto-Masakayan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 01 2016 04:19 PM | Updated as of Jul 02 2016 03:38 AM

It was a cordial first meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo, a day after they held separate inauguration ceremonies.

Before starting his speech at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Change of Command on Friday, 71-year-old Duterte, the country's first septuagenarian president, acknowledged Robredo's presence and seemed pleased in meeting the former congresswoman.

Photo from Leni Robredo's official twitter account

"This is my first time to meet you personally, ma'am," Duterte told Robredo, who was also onstage, seated alongside military officials.

"I would have preferred to be seated beside you but andiyan si Defense [Secretary Delfin Lorenzana] eh," Duterte added, drawing laughter from the crowd.

A beaming Robredo responded with a nod. Prior to the program, the two were also seen shaking hands.

 

A video posted by Chiara Zambrano (@chiarazambrano) on

In an ambush interview after the ceremonies at Camp Aguinaldo, Robredo said she had a "very cordial" meeting with Duterte.

"Very cordial iyong meeting. Nagpaalam ako sa kaniya kung pwede ako magpaset ng scheduling, or courtesy visit. Sabi naman niya, anytime," Robredo said.

She said she will immediately work on setting the meeting.

This appears to have broken the ice between Duterte and Robredo, who ran for their respective posts under rival political parties.

Robredo was the administration Liberal Party bet who defeated Duterte's running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

Duterte and Robredo were supposed to meet before the inauguration but the then-Vice President-elect's Japan trip supposedly got in the way, according to Duterte's aide de camp Bong Go.

Robredo, who had a separate inauguration in Quezon City, was also not invited to Duterte's inaugural ceremony at the Palace.

In May, Duterte said he would not appoint Robredo to a Cabinet position as he did not want his "friend" Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to get hurt.

READ: Duterte: No Cabinet post for Leni Robredo

READ: Robredo: I have no right to demand Cabinet post

During the campaign, however, Duterte said he found Robredo beautiful and even joked about giving her a ring.

READ: What Duterte and Robredo have in common

-- With reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News