MANILA- Malacañang on Tuesday said Vice President Leni Robredo's decision to lead a "united opposition" is not surprising at all.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace welcomes an "active" opposition as part of a healthy democracy.
"Vice President Leni Robredo’s decision to lead the opposition movement against the Duterte administration is hardly surprising," he said in a statement.
"The Palace believes that an active opposition has a vital role to play in a healthy, well-functioning democracy," he added.
This comes after Robredo on Tuesday said the opposition movement led by her will release their senatorial line-up for the 2019 mid-term polls in September.
Roque added that the Duterte administration expects the opposition movement to push national discussions to a "higher level of political maturity."
"We expect that the opposition movement would not only promote responsible and constructive debate to push the national conversation to a higher level of political maturity but also present to our people a viable alternative platform of government to address the longstanding problems of the nation. Our people deserve no less," he said.
Robredo served as Duterte's housing chief for around five months before leaving his Cabinet in December 2016 after she was prevented from joining Cabinet meetings.
She was replaced by Leoncio Evasco, who also serves as the Cabinet secretary.