Duterte camp mum on whether Leni will be invited
(Philstar.com) - June 23, 2016 - 5:39pm

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The camp of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte kept mum Thursday on whether Vice President-elect Ma. Leonor "Leni" Robredo would be invited to his inauguration on June 30.

Duterte has requested that his inauguration be held separately from that of Robredo supposedly due to limited space at Malacañang. Robredo agreed and decided to hold her inaugural ceremony at the Quezon City Reception House, which will also serve as her office.

The vice president's inauguration will be held at around 9:30 a.m. while that of Duterte will start at around 12 noon. This means that Robredo has time to witness the next president's oath taking if she is invited.

However, Ernesto Abella, Duterte's spokesman, could not say whether Robredo will be invited to the incoming president's inauguration.

"I don't know if it's official or anything like that. I'm not entirely sure but people talk about it, people like you," Abella told reporters in a press conference in Davao City.

"I don't have the guest list," he added.

Pressed by a reporter if Robredo is out of the guest list, Abella said: "I dont know if I can say that she is out. Out is a pejorative term."

There have been speculations that Duterte is easing out Robredo because of his friendship with outgoing Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., her closest rival in the vice presidential race. 

Robredo only won by more than 200,000 votes during the tight vice presidential race that the Marcos camp claimed was filled with irregularities. Marcos is planning to file an electoral protest by the end of the month

Duterte's close relationship with Marcos was also one of the reasons why he is not inclined to give a Cabinet post to Robredo. He said Robredo would not be part of his Cabinet to avoid hurting Marcos's feelings.

"(There are) party guys loyal to me all along, and maybe who are also in a way, or who were for one reason or another a factor in my win in the presidency. I shouldn't be looking beyond my borders yet," he said in a previous interview.

There are also speculations that Duterte is not comfortable with Robredo because of rumors that the Liberal Party would use her to regain the presidency.

More than 600 people are expected to attend Duterte's inauguration while about 300 individuals have been invited to witness Robredo's oath taking. Both camps claimed that their inaugural rites would be simple yet meaningful.

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