Manila Bulletin - Duterte still prefers Marcos to Robredo, Roque says

News & Interviews
17 February 2021

By Genalyn Kabiling | Manila Bulletin

The latest Supreme Court victory of Vice President Leni Robredo won’t change President Duterte’s mind about her.

The President still prefers former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos to Robredo in terms of leadership skills, according to his spokesman Harry Roque.

Roque however maintained that the Palace respects the SC ruling that junked the poll case filed by Marcos against Robredo.

“I think the preference remains but the fact is the Vice President has become the de jure Vice President,” Roque said in an online interview with reporters Tuesday, Feb. 16, when asked if the President still favors Marcos to be the country’s vice president.

Asked if the President will now have a better working relationship with Robredo, Roque said: ” I don’t think it makes any difference because the President has always referred to VP Leni as the Vice President.”

Robredo recently felt vindicated after the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, dismissed the electoral protest filed by Marcos against her back in 2016. The decision upheld Robredo’s victory in the 2016 vice-presidential elections.

Robredo, the leader of the political opposition, has welcomed the PET decision, saying truth and justice have prevailed.

Back in 2018, the Palace said the President was willing to step down if Marcos succeeds in the poll case against Robredo, to pave the way for his ascension to the presidency. Duterte previously belittled Robredo’s competence while commended Marcos as a qualified leader.

The son and namesake of the late President Ferdinand Marcos narrowly lost to Robredo in the 2016 elections. He has challenged the results alleging poll fraud. The camp of Robredo has strongly denied such allegations.