President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has once again clarified his camp’s stance, this time on the Cabinet post offer to Vice-President-elect Leni Robredo.
Contradicting his own running-mate Alan Peter Cayetano who said that a tailored post for Robredo is waiting, Duterte said that what is only present is an “opening of opportunity” but that does not mean that a specific job is already fixed for the incoming vice-president.
“If it’s just an opening of an opportunity, it would come later. It doesn’t mean to say the door is open and there’s already the job waiting. Maybe we can talk of just having a good rapport in the meantime. Because we don’t even know each other yet,” Duterte told the media in Davao City on Sunday, May 29.
Duterte said that giving Robredo a cabinet position never crossed his mind and that he would first look at his immediate circle.
“I’m not trying to be smart aleck, but I’m still trying to figure out the selection in my own group and party. I shouldn’t be looking beyond my borders,” he explained.
When pressed further for a specific cabinet position for Robredo, Duterte got obviously peeved and quipped: “No, I don’t even know her!”
“Why should I talk to her? I said I’ve not considered anything for her. I am more worried about where I would place the friends na nagkautang ako ng loob,” he said.
However, he clarified that he was not only favoring his friends and fraternity brothers. He only first makes sure that he could trust the person and that he personally knows the capacity and character of the person he is appointing.
Duterte attributed his limited cabinet selection to his small social circle. His lack of interest in socializing and his being from the province contribute to him not having a wider selection.
“Ako kasi probinsyano. The only time I went to Manila ay noong nag-aral ako. So ang aking sphere of influence, sa dorm, sa school at mga brod ko na close sa akin. Even when I was a congressman, I wasn’t socializing actually,” he said.
“Ang kilala ko lang mga ka-brod ko at kababata ko na mahusay and then I said, I could not have selected from a larger portion of the population for the simple reason that ang horizon ko or dimension ko sa aking pagkatao limitado ako, school dorm, friends mga kabrod, yun lang, lahat taga-Davao na,” he added.
He spent his childhood years in Davao and only moved to Manila for his college years. He earned his political science degree at the Lyceum of the Philippines University and later on studied law at San Beda College in Mendiola, Manila.