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Duterte on new Cabinet offer for Leni: I am not considering it


President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he is not yet considering giving Vice President Leni Robredo a new Cabinet post.

"At this time, I am not considering it," he said in a television interview, adding Robredo is part of the group that has been calling for his ouster.

In a separate interview with GMA News' Jessica Soho, also on Thursday afternoon, Duterte accused Robredo of attending rallies calling for his ouster. He referred to her associations with the "yellows," a term coined for the Liberal Party, which he had accused of plotting to unseat him.

He said there was a seeming "incongruity" between that and her stay in his Cabinet.

"Ang relasyon namin maganda," he said of Robredo. "Ang problema, si Leni nakikita ko sa—hindi ko masabi 'wag—nakikita ko sa rally. Kilala mo ako, 'yung oust Duterte."

"Ngayon, nakikita ko siya. Kinabukasan, o one week after, mag-Cabinet meeting kami. We face each other. I'm always courteous to everybody, I say, 'Ma'am, magandang umaga po.' Don't you think there's an incongruity there?" he added.

"Nasa harap kita, you owe my appointment from me, then nakikita kita demanding for my ouster, then you face me again tomorrow? Mukha yatang medyo... may nakita ka? Parang... Is it incongruity or awkwardness?" he went on.

Robredo, who resigned from Cabinet earlier this month, is a member of the Liberal Party that used yellow as its campaign color in the May elections. Duterte has called the party "sour losers who cannot accept defeat."

Robredo quit her post as chair of the of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) after Duterte barred her from attending Cabinet meetings due to her vocal opposition to the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which the Duterte administration has allowed.

In response to Duterte, Robredo said she has not participated in any political rallies, adding she only attended the "annual honoring of martyrs and heroes" who fought Martial Law at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City last Nov. 30—the same day that groups held an anti-Marcos burial protest at the People Power Monument. 

Robredo said she was invited to the event as guest of the family of the late Inquirer editor-in-chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, one of the 19 honorees this year. 

Following her resignation from Cabinet, Robredo said she is willing to be the "unifying factor" for the "discordant voices of those who are critical of the administration's policies."   —with Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/KBK, GMA News

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