Malacañang has earlier invited Vice President Leni Robredo to attend the first Vin d’honneur of President Rodrigo Duterte this Wednesday, January 11. This special event is usually being attended by the vice president. But according to a statement released by vice-presidential spokesperson Georgina Hernandez, the invitation was withdrawn a week later.
“Our Office received an invitation to the Vin d’Honneur via email last December 28. On January 4, Malacañang called the Office to retract the invitation, stating that the guest list was limited,” Hernandez was quoted in a statement. Inquirer earlier reported that a source from the Office of the Vice President (OVP) said that VP Robredo was not really invited at all.
Vin d’honneur in the Philippines is usually being done twice a year at Rizal Hall, Malacañang Palace, the first one in January while the second on June 12, Independence Day. And just like in previous administrations, the attendees include cabinet members and diplomatic corps. Jejomar Binay did not attend the last Vin d’honneur of Noynoy Aquino.
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“The Philippines will continue to build on friendships founded on common objectives, shared values, and time-honored principles of international law. We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals,” President Duterte said on his speech on his first New Year’s Vin d’honneur reception.
As we all know, President Duterte and VP Robredo seemed to have a shaky relationship since the start. Robredo, who ran for vice president under the Liberal Party (LP), is being accused of cheating during the election after being former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, a good friend of Duterte. As time goes by, their relationship went colder.
Last December, VP Robredo resigned as chief Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) after she was told to stop from attending cabinet meetings. Recently, President Duterte accused the vice president of joining protests against him. And although she categorically denied it, she has been very vocal in opposing some of his major decisions.