MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo will attend President Rodrigo Duterte's last State of the Nation Address virtually since she has yet to be fully vaccinated, a requirement for in-person attendance, her spokesperson said Sunday.
The Vice President would be taking her second dose of COVID-19 vaccine next month, Atty. Barry Gutierrez said as he spoke on her behalf during Robredo's weekly radio show.
Robredo has said she was not invited to be physically present at the Batasang Pambansa for Duterte’s last SONA, Monday.
According to Gutierrez, Robredo first received an invitation to attend the event virtually, but it was later clarified to allow her to attend personally.
However, one of the requirements is SONA attendees should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Gutierrez said.
“Nakatanggap tayo ng imbitasyon na pumunta. Kinlarify namin... kasi last year zoom lang umattend si VP, hindi siya pina-attend nang personal… Ang sabi Zoom daw ulit. So, nagpahayag si VP Leni, 'Pupunta ako,'" he said.
(We received an invitation. We clarified it...Last year the VP attended via Zoom, she was not required to attend in person. They said it would be via Zoom again. So VP Leni said, 'I will attend.')
"Noong lumabas ang balitang iyon… may mga nag-react... Pagkatapos ng ilang araw, kinlarify... Merong bagong listahan na in-approve ng IATF at pwede na daw siya (VP Leni) magpunta na personal."
(When the news broke out...some reacted...Then a few days later, it was clarified... The IATF has approved a new list of guests and VP Leni can now attend in person.)
The President's final SONA is expected to last less than an hour, a Communications official earlier said.
State-run PTV and Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) were granted exclusive coverage of the event as COVID-19 health protocols compelled limitations on the number of people allowed inside the Batasang Pambansa.
Robredo said last week she hopes Duterte's last SONA will be forthright as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.