MANILA, Philippines – For Vice President Leni Robredo, the retracted invitation for President Rodrigo Duterte's New Year Vin d'Honneur was not a big deal, but the Palace could have shown some respect, at the very least.
"Para sa akin, hindi naman big deal kung iimbitahan ako o hindi. Nakakawalang gana na lang doon iyong manner kung paano ginagawa ang mga bagay," Robredo said in a chance interview during a visit to Tondo on Thursday, January 12.
(For me, it isn't a big deal if I'm invited or not. What is disheartening is how it was done.)
Vice presidential spokesperson Georgina Hernandez had earlier responded to questions on Robredo's absence from the traditional banquet hosted by the President.
In a statement on Wednesday, January 11, Hernandez said their office received an invitation from Malacañang on December 28 but days after – on January 4 – it was retracted via text message.
The Palace, Hernandez said, cited a "limited guest list" as reason for disinviting the Vice President – something Robredo finds absurd.
"Para sabihing binabawi ang imbitasyon dahil wala nang upuan, parang nakakatawa," she said.
(To say that the invitation was withdrawn because there weren't enough chairs, that's laughable.)
"Kasi kung galit sa akin, galit sa akin. Pero sana bigyan naman ng kaunting respeto ang opisina," she also said.
(If they're mad at me, then be mad at me. But I hope the Office of the Vice President can be given respect.)