President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said there’s no need for Vice President Leni Robredo to attend future Cabinet meetings if the war on drugs is not on the agenda.
During a press briefing on Thursday, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo revealed that the President told him that Robredo will be invited as long as the anti-narcotics campaign is scheduled for discussion. He added that Duterte’s pronouncement is in favor of the latter’s convenience since attending a Cabinet meeting would be time-consuming.
“We have a Cabinet meeting. We are invited by the CabSec (Cabinet Secretary) and we are asked if we are going or not. It’s optional for us to attend because if it is not your topic there, you will have to stay there for the rest of the meeting until the wee hours of the morning,” Panelo said.
“Kung hindi ka naman kasama doon sa agenda, mas masaya siguro kung hindi ka na a-attend” he added.
Duterte has yet to meet Robredo following her appointment as co-chairperson, a Cabinet rank, of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD) last October 31 after she failed to attend the Cabinet meeting scheduled last November 6.
Panelo revealed that Robredo would need to wait for Duterte’s invitation to the next Cabinet meeting. He then assured Robredo that she would not be stripped off of her right to freedom of expression.
“It doesn’t mean naman 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,” he said.