Can Duterte, Robredo unite for Filipinos? Maybe not, says Palace

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2020 04:30 PM | Updated as of Nov 19 2020 04:45 PM

President Duterte meets with Vice President Robredo at the Malacañan Palace, July 5, 2016. VP Leni Robredo Media Bureau/File

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo are unlikely to team up for the country due to their political history, Malacañang said Thursday, after the Chief Executive lambasted his second-in-command for her typhoon efforts.

Duterte gave Robredo 2 chances to work with him: as his housing secretary and co-chair of the anti-drug body--both posts she had left, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

But Robredo did not resign from these posts; she was removed.

Asked if the 2 leaders can work together, Roque said, "Siguro hindi na po (maybe not)."

"Despite the 2 opportunities, talagang VP Leni listened to her advisers and decided to become opposition, if not obstructionist," he told reporters.

"But I’m confident na ang Presidente naman kapag nailabas na niya iyong saloobin niya, there will be better interpersonal relations kaysa naman iyong nagkikimkim," he added.

(Once the President has aired sentiments, there will be better relations compared to if he keep this to himself.)

Roque's statement comes after Duterte accused Robredo of doing nothing for victims of typhoon onslaught and propagating the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo during the disaster—which the Vice President denied.

CAPTION: Video courtesy of PTV

"Kung hindi naman lumabas iyong mga isyu na ganiyan na nasaan si Presidente, wala naman pong sinasabing masama ang Presidente kay VP Leni. Mayroon ba ho? Wala," Roque also said in his Monday briefing.

(If that issue of where is the President did not come out, the President was not saying anything bad against VP Leni. Is there anything? None.)

But as early as 2016, Duterte made comments about Robredo's skirt and teased her about her relationship status, also implying he was a viable option for the widow of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

In a speech before Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni in 2018, the President said Robredo was weak and stupid.