Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo pointed out that Vice President Leni Robredo could also express her views on President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies by issuing public statements or memoranda to the Cabinet, if necessary.
The STAR/File
‘Attendance in Cabinet meetings optional’
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo yesterday justified that attendance in Cabinet meetings is “optional” for Cabinet members, following the statement that Vice President Leni Robredo is not invited during such meetings if the drug campaign is not on the agenda.

“When we have a Cabinet meeting, we are invited by the (Cabinet secretary) and we are asked if we are going or not. In other words, it’s optional for us to attend, because if it’s not your topic there, you’ll have to stay there for the rest of the meeting until the wee hours of the morning,” Panelo said.

“If you’re not included in the agenda anyway, it might be better for you not to attend,” he added.

Panelo was quizzed on the matter after former presidential aide and incumbent Sen. Bong Go said on Wednesday that Robredo could not just attend the monthly Cabinet meetings unless the drug campaign is on the agenda.

Panelo pointed out that Robredo could also express her views on President Duterte’s policies by issuing public statements or memoranda to the Cabinet, if necessary.

“It doesn’t mean (that if) you are not in the Cabinet meeting, you cannot comment. Because there is a transcript for that and that is given to all members of the Cabinet. So if you feel like commenting on any topic, you can do that,” Panelo said.

As for the supposed rest of Duterte, Panelo said the President has been working on several documents while at home in Davao City.

The Palace also has yet to confirm reports that Duterte will forgo his visit to North Cotabato this Friday to meet with farmers there. The President is also planning to meet with the families of soldiers killed in an encounter with local communists in Northern Samar, but no official schedule has been released to the Malacañang Press Corps.

SALVADOR PANELO
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