By: Elena Grace Flores
Rappler did a good job in capturing this moment: President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo finally made their first public appearance together at the change of command ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The ceremony took place on Friday, July 1, a day after their separate inaugurations, at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
It continued in narrating: After full military honors, Duterte walked to his seat and shook hands with Robredo.The two seemed to exchange pleasantries before taking their seats with smiles on their faces. The two were seated one place apart from the other, with outgoing Acting AFP chief Glorioso Miranda, seated between them. Former president Fidel Ramos, who was seated close to the two officials, watched on with a big smile. He had endorsed the candidacies of Duterte and Robredo. When it was Duterte’s turn to speak during the ceremony, he first greeted “Vice President Leni Robredo” and quipped, “this is the first time I will greet you.” He added he was ready to sit beside her but that the “SND” was already there, referring to the Secretary of National Defense, Delfin Lorenzana.
As concluded by Rappler: Since her proclamation, Robredo had wanted to meet with Duterte to personally assure him of her cooperation, even if they come from different sides of the political fence, but it had yet to be scheduled by Duterte’s office. The two highest officials of the land appeared to have been off to a rocky start when Duterte said early on that he would not give a Cabinet position to Robredo. He had cited their political differences, and his friendship with Robredo’s top rival for the vice presidency, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.