REGARDED as somebody from the other side of the political fence, Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday showed up as a member of President Duterte’s official family.
Wearing a peach blazer over a white dress, Robredo joined other Cabinet secretaries during the Cabinet orientation workshop at Premier Guest House in Malacañang in the morning.
She also attended the second Cabinet meeting that Mr. Duterte presided over in the afternoon.
It was her first trip to the Palace since the President appointed her head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, a post previously held by her predecessors, Jejomar Binay and Noli de Castro.
As of 7 last night, the Palace had yet to issue an official statement on what transpired during the Cabinet meeting, held a day before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague was set to issue a verdict on the case the Philippines filed against China’s claims over the West Philippine Sea.
But among the topics discussed were the government’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs, preparations for the effects of La Niña, and disaster risk reduction and management plans.
The Presidential Communications Office headed by Secretary Martin Andanar released the photos of Robredo’s presence at the meeting. In one of the pictures, she was seen talking with an animated Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
The Vice President also posed for a picture with Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. and Andanar.
“Vice President Leni Robredo joins her first Cabinet meeting in the Duterte administration in Malacañang. #PartnerForChange,” read the photo’s caption.
Another photo showed her sitting beside Evasco and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who led the workshop of the newly minted Cabinet.
Last month, Mr. Duterte said he was not inclined to give any Cabinet post to Robredo, who won under the ticket of the once-dominant Liberal Party.
But the President suddenly changed his mind, offering the housing portfolio to Robredo in a phone call that he made during an interview with a crew of the state-owned Radio Television Malacañang on Friday.