Amid reported assassination plots and security threats against the new Chief Executive, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte wanted her to be present in Cabinet meetings and security briefings.
“‘Yung pinakauna nung pagbisita ko sa kanya sa Malacañang, sinabi niya sa akin na he would prefer na umuupo ako sa Cabinet meeting tapos umuupo ako sa mga security briefings, at ‘yung mga bagay na nalalaman niya mas mabuti na alam ko rin, para handa rin parati,” Robredo said in a press briefing at her office in Quezon City.
“Tapos kahapon noong tinawagan niya ako to offer the Cabinet position, inulit niya. Sabi niya over the phone na maraming na-a-alarm, na increased security threats, sabi niya, ang sabi ko sa kanila bakit pa sila nag-aalala nandiyan ka naman,” she added.
Robredo, who was appointed by Duterte as housing czar, was reacting to a question on the President’s remarks that Filipinos should not worry over security threats against him as the Vice President will be there for succession.
But shunning the thought of succeeding the President, Robredo said she told Duterte to take care of himself as the country still needs him, and that it would be best for everyone to finish his six-year term.
“Naaalala ko ‘yung sagot ko sa kanya sabi ko huwag naman Mr. President, mag-ingat pa rin. Kailangan pa rin kayo ng bansa,” Robredo said.
“Palagay ko ‘yun naman ‘yung pakiramdam nating lahat. Totoo na may succession under the Constitution, pero ‘yung binoto ng tao sa pagkapangulo eh si Pangulong Duterte. Ang mga Pilipino would prefer na kung sino ‘yung pinili niyang tao ‘yun ‘yung mag-finish ng kanyang term. Kung ako, totoong maraming threats, pero mas mabuting nag-iingat tayo,” she added.
In several instances in the campaign trail, Robredo said she had no ambitions of becoming President.
A P1-billion bounty was reportedly placed on the head of Duterte and police chief Ronald de la Rosa by top drug and crime lords.
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