By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

PHOTO: Panay News

As his piece of advice, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque told Vice President Leni Robredo to not feel excited yet and just wait on who will be elected as the country’s next president in the 2022 polls before vowing for fair treatment to anyone.

“Tignan po muna natin kung sino ang mananalong presidente,” Roque said in his press briefing on Wednesday––a response to Robredo’s remark that she would not treat Duterte the way he treated her if they were to switch positions after the 2022 national elections.

Roque likewise wondered what the Vice President was talking about and thinks that Robredo must have been forgetful. He said: "Parang napakaikli naman po ng memorya ng ating Vice President."

The presidential spokesman then insisted that President Duterte did not lack in giving her a role in the government, and instead, opted to resign from the Cabinet post and chose to lead the opposition as claimed by Roque. 

“Kung maalala niyo po, binigyan ng Cabinet post ng Presidente si VP Leni Robredo pero siya po ang namili na nais niyang maging lider ng oposisyon kaya naging palamuti po siya ng limang taon, Pero sa ‘mulat mula po, hindi po nagkulang ang Presidente, binigyan po siya ng Cabinet post bilang Housing secretary,” he said. 

Robredo back in 2016 was appointed as head of the government’s Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) but resigned after she was barred from attending the Cabinet meetings. 

In 2019, she was also appointed as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) in 2019, but her stint was cut short––lasting for only 18 days after Duterte fired her due to mistrust and alleged incompetence in handling the job. 

As Duterte once again toyed with the possibility of running for vice president, Roque quipped that the President will have a different “destiny” from Robredo should he become the country’s second-highest official comes 2022 national elections. 

“Talaga naman pong tayo ang tumatahak ng ating tadhana. Siguro po ganyan ang inukit na tadhana ni VP Robredo. Sa tingin ko naman po, iba ang magiging tadhana ni Presidente Duterte kung baka sakaling siya’y magiging VP,” Roque said.

Robredo, as the de facto leader of the Liberal Party, has cleared the air and said she is open to be a candidate for the presidency and has yet to decide if she would rather run for governor of Camarines Sur. 

“In the middle of speculation, I will repeat what I have said before: There is still no decision whether I would run for governor. I am still open to being a candidate for president,” Robredo said in a statement.

“There are many things to consider but I will make my decision at the right time. I assure everyone that I will announce my decision,” she added.

Recently, Duterte has once again floated the idea of running for the second-highest post for the reason of getting immunity from lawsuits and threats––particularly Trillanes who warned him of prosecution once he steps down from office.