MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo was at the military headquarters Tuesday morning, May 8, for a briefing on the country's national security situation.
A military spokesman confirmed the command conference with Robredo but refused to give details. He said it was a "regular" activity with the Vice President.
It was called by Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Carlito Galvez, who assumed his post last month, according to a source privy to the meeting.
Robredo was also given a national security briefing in November 2017, shortly after the assumption of then AFP chief General Rey Leonardo Guerro
She was also in Camp Aguinaldo in May 2017 after clashes erupted in Marawi City and martial law was declared in Mindanao.
The security briefings are regularly given to the President in the company of his Cabinet. Robredo resigned from the Cabinet after President Rodrigo Duterte himself ordered her to "desist from attending all Cabinet meetings."
She was the former chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
Malacañang vs Robredo
The security briefing on Tuesday comes in the wake of Robredo's statement slamming China's reported installation of missiles on Mischief Reef, which was declared part of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and two other reefs in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
In November 2017, the otherwise regular briefing for the Vice President stirred controversy when Robredo said she got the assurance of the military that it would not support the revolutionary government that supporters of Duterte were advocating. The President's supporters wanted to give him wider powers over government.
This apparently irked Duterte, who later teased that the reason the military didn't want a revolutionary government was because Robredo opposed it. (WATCH: Duterte says military should 'follow' VP Robredo)
Malacañang apparently saw the report on the military's assurance to Robredo as part of a supposed sinister plot against Duterte.
In a Senate hearing in February 2018 , Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go said that particular Rappler article was intended to create a rift between the defense officials and Malacañang.
Go tagged the Rappler article as "fake news," saying the media should have confirmed Robredo's information from Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Guerrero. (READ: Bong Go rails against Rappler, Inquirer in Senate hearing)