President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo have finally met for the first time since they won the May 9 elections.
They crossed paths at the turnover rites of the Armed Forces of The Philippines (AFP), held at Camp Aguinaldo, Friday, July 1.
The two reportedly shook hands and exchanged pleasantries on stage.
FIRST MEETING. According to GMA News Online’s report, President Duterte and VP Robredo were one seat apart during the program proper.
President Duterte, for his part, pointed out that he would have sat beside VP Robredo if not for Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Acknowledging the presence of VP Robredo, President Duterte said in his speech, “This is the first time that I meet you personally. I would have preferred to be seated beside you but nandiyan si Defense, e.”
President Duterte's quip drew laughter from the people around him and VP Robredo.
The report also mentioned that it was Acting Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda Glorioso Miranda who was sitting between the two during the ceremony.
The two seemed to get along just fine based on the photos taken during their meeting.
Here's another photo of VP Robredo waving and President Duterte smiling at the crowd:
CONFLICT OF SCHEDULE? Based on previous reports, VP Robredo’s camp has been trying to set up a meeting with President Duterte as soon as they were officially proclaimed winners of the May 9 elections.
Few days before their June 30 inauguration, Robredo stated that she couldn’t get a schedule from Duterte’s camp just yet.
“Nagsubok tayo na makakuha ng appointment pero hindi pa tayo nakakakuha ng schedule. Hindi pa naman tayo nawawalan ng pag-asa,” Robredo was quoted as saying during National Day Celebration for the Filipino community in Japan last June 26.
President Duterte and VP Robredo broke tradition when they held separate inauguration ceremonies yesterday, June 30.
President Duterte took his oath in Malacanang, while VP Robredo held her inauguration ceremony at QC Reception House.
Interestingly, Duterte’s aide de camp Christopher Go said that the president was supposedly available to meet with VP Robredo on the same day the latter was in Japan.
“Sa totoo, may nag-schedule from the camp of VP Leni.
“Dapat noong Friday, kaya lang bumalik iyong emissary niya, sabi may scheduled trip na pala siya sa Japan noong Friday.
“So, kaya hindi natuloy.”
On the other hand, VP Robredo’s spokesperson Georgina Hernandez maintained that they were not consulted about that supposed meeting with President Duterte.
Hernandez also clarified that there was no truth to recent reports that VP Robredo said in an interview that President Duterte is playing “hard to get” with regard to their meeting schedule.