Leni disinvited to vin d’honneur

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo was disinvited by Malacañang to the first vin d’honneur of President Duterte, her spokesperson said.

“Our office received an invitation to the vin d’honneur via email last Dec. 28,” Georgina Hernandez said in a brief statement to explain the conspicuous absence of Robredo at the traditional New Year reception for the diplomatic corps at the Palace yesterday.

“On Jan. 4, Malacañang called the office to retract the invitation, stating that the guest list was limited,” she said.

And as Robredo stated when she resigned from the Cabinet in December, her office would run on a reduced budget this year.

Robredo had no public engagements yesterday morning, according to her office. She was, however, scheduled to speak at the 35th Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center residents’ graduation in San Juan City at 7 p.m.

The disinvite came after Duterte told Robredo to stop attending Cabinet meetings last month due to “irreconcilable differences.”

Robredo and Duterte have yet to talk since the former quit her post as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council last Dec. 5 after she was barred from attending Cabinet meetings.

Duterte said he excluded Robredo from Cabinet meetings after she attended protest actions calling for his ouster, which the Vice President strongly denied.

In a previous interview, Robredo said she tried her best to reach out to the President after her resignation but “it appears that he doesn’t want to talk to me.”

Robredo, however, said she and the President were not enemies.

The Liberal Party, which she chairs, has no capability of ousting Duterte, with only a few members remaining in the party, Robredo said.

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