Vice President Leni Robredo is set to attend her first cabinet meeting, since first informally notified of her selection into the cabinet by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.
It must be recalled that before members of the Malacanang press corps and some cabinet officials, the president called the VP in her office using a borrowed cell phone from a palace reporter.
And the rest is history, but the story has been told dozenfold already.
Caught on the spot while at the receiving end of the wireless line, Robredo accepted the post offered. No second thoughts on the Bicolana leader who rose from obscurity as a public attorney lawyer, then as the widow of then DILG secretary Jesse Robredo, then 3rd district representative in the province of Camarines to the triumphant candidacy for the second highest post of the land.
Looking back, this is the live feed shared by the Office of the President thru the official Radio TV Malacanang:
While some were expectant of protocol and formalities, just the same, the president set that all aside and went ahead with the offer, and then it was done!
So that was how President Rodrigo Duterte offered Vice President Leni Robredo the housing portfolio in the middle of a media interview at Malacañang on Thursday afternoon.
“Pwede ka housing ma’am? Can you be the housing secretary? Tanggapin mo ma’am?” Duterte asked Robredo over the phone.
Robredo will head the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the government’s housing arm previously held by former Vice Presidents Jejomar Binay and Noli De Castro.
“Kasi panay na ang tanong. Nahihiya na ako ma’am eh. Nakikinig ang buong cabinet ma’am… Alam mo ma’am kasi para mahinto na tong tanong tanong,” he told Robredo.
(The question keeps on popping up. I am ashamed already. The whole cabinet is listening. You know Ma’am, to stop these endless questions.)
While there was no auido feed for Robredo’s answer, one can only think of all possibilities, yet Duterte asked her not to be apologetic.
Robredo readily accepted the offer. The President then told her the Executive Secretary will personally hand her the appointment order.
Duterte also invited Robredo to attend the next Cabinet meeting on Monday next week.
“So that you will be on time with the next Cabinet meeting and even on security matters so you’d be kept abreast of what is happening to our country. Just for you to know,” he said.