MANILA -- (UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte ribbed Vice President Leni Robredo in their first meeting in public since the political party of the country's second highest official was linked to a plot to unseat the chief executive.
Duterte shook Robredo's hand and sat beside her on stage at the Philippine Military Academy's graduation rites in Baguio City.
"Bakit noon Ma'am nag-smile ka sa akin? Ngayon hindi na. Ikaw ha?" the President said, as he acknowledged the vice president.
(You used to smile at me. Not anymore. Why so?)
Robredo was caught on camera smiling to the President's remarks.
A certain Peter Joemel Advincula last week claimed the Liberal Party chaired by Robredo conspired with Sen. Antonio Trillanes over a series of viral videos that tagged Duterte's family in the narcotics trade. The Vice President and the opposition lawmaker denied this.
The videos were circulated on social media in the run-up to the May 13 elections, wherein 9 of the 12 Senate seats up for grabs were won by candidates endorsed by Duterte. Three independents won while all 8 candidates from the LP-backed Otso Diretso lost.
Ties between the 2 leaders grew frosty after Robredo resigned in 2016 as Duterte's Housing secretary, citing "major differences" with the President and suspicions that a plot was underway to unseat her.
The President is the guest of honor at the graduation of the PMA "Mabalasik" Class of 2019. He arrived around 10:55 a.m. Arrival honors for the President was scheduled at 9 a.m., according to a copy of the program.
ABS-CBN News, 26, May 2019