How I wish vice president-elect Leni Robredo immediately made a courtesy call on president-elect Rodrigo Duterte once the election dust settled down and both were declared winners.
It would have been the most opportune time for them to meet and get to know each other better so friendship, trust and respect could have been developed earlier.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not insinuating that perhaps if the courtesy call happened that Duterte would have entertained the thought of making Robredo a member of his Cabinet.
At the outset, Duterte had it figured out already the way things were going in the vice presidential race. Like him, everybody else expected Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to win as he was there leading all the while in the race. For Duterte this was a very much welcome trend that would compliment his lopsided victory, especially that the scion and namesake of the dictator Marcos is his friend.
Alas, it was not meant to be as Robredo took over the lead from Marcos and never give it up until the counting was over, making her the winner by a slim margin.
In effect, Robredo came out as a spoiler in whatever plans Duterte had for Marcos. This is not to mention that in the heat of the campaigns there were speculations about the implementation of Plan B by the ruling party that if Duterte wins he would be impeached for his notorious political leadership while serving as mayor of Davao City and will be replaced by Robredo.
Of course these wild rumors did not sit well with Duterte and this added to his displeasure and inhospitable attitude towards Robredo.
But in fairness to Robredo, she too was a victim of this malicious and cruel rumors and it is just very unfortunate that Duterte values more the friendship of Marcos and continues to harbor cynicism towards Robredo.
On the contrary Robredo, from the very start, has not change her perception of Duterte as the president that most Filipinos wanted to have and has always shown goodwill and respect for him.
In fact in many media interviews Robredo has always declared her “100% support and cooperation” for Duterte and has urged Filipinos to do the same. She feels it is her obligation to support and cooperate with Duterte, for like the latter, she has also the interest of the country and people in her mind and heart.
Only recently, while in Japan, Robredo was invited to grace the National Day Celebration for the Filipino community in Tokyo and again she took the opportunity to urge Filipinos to set aside political differences and unite behind the new Philippine leadership that would assume office on June 30.
Hopefully Duterte will come to appreciate Robredo’s endorsement of him and be able to recognize her admirable talent and leadership style, which while very much unlike his, deserves also a reciprocal goodwill and respect.