DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday evening, June 15, explained that it will favor Vice President-elect Leni Robredo if she is inaugurated separately from Duterte on June 30.
"We believe that Leni Robredo's family and supporters who worked hard for her deserve also to be present to celebrate her victory. And this can only be possible through a separate inauguration," Duterte aide Christopher "Bong" Go said.
Go issued this statement as special assistant to the president-elect and part of the inaugural committee.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Robredo camp said the Duterte camp wants a separate inauguration for the president-elect.
Go explained that this is because Duterte's inaugural celebration "will be a simple yet meaningful one, consistent with his principles on austerity." He said the president-elect has made this promise since the campaign period.
"This imposition will not be fair to Leni as the limited slots would restrict her prerogative to invite more guests and supporters, as a good number of the slots are to be allotted for members of Congress, judiciary, and the diplomatic corps," Go said.
"More so, the remaining limited number of slots are likewise given to family and friends," the Duterte aide added.
Go also said that "this is also intended to cause the least disruption to the public."
Robredo camp: We respect their decision
The head of Robredo's transition team, Boyet Dy, said in a separate statement, "While we have been preparing for a joint inauguration, we respect their decision and will begin our own preparations for a simple and modest ceremony."
The president-elect has also not committed a Cabinet post for Robredo, even if Philippine vice presidents traditionally become part of the Cabinet. (READ: Spare tire or not? The role of the Philippine vice president)
Duterte has said he doesn't want to hurt the feelings of Robredo's defeated rival, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, if he gives Robredo a Cabinet post. "He is my friend. That is the political reality," Duterte said of Marcos.
While not meeting with Robredo, Duterte has in fact spent time with Marcos, who recently visited him in Davao City. Rumors have also swirled about Duterte eyeing a Cabinet post for Marcos. – Rappler.com