President Rodrigo Duterte broke the ice in his first meeting with Vice President Leni Robredo amid an alleged plot by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and the Liberal Party to replace him with her.
“Vice President Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo, ma’am… Bakit noon ma’am naga-smile ka sa akin ngayon hindi na? Ikaw ha,” said Duterte in his opening remarks at the Philippine Military Academy’s graduation ritesin Baguio City. Robred smiled as the audience laughed at Duterte’s ribbing.
Duterte shook Robredo’s hand and were seated beside each other on tension between the administration and opposition following the unraveling of the “Bikoy” hoax on Duterte’s alleged ties to illegal drugs.
Robredo used to be Duterte’s housing czar but was forced to resign just after a few months in office after she publicly criticized Duterte’s decision to allow a hero’s burial for the late President Ferdinand Marcos in 2016. Their ties have been frosty ever since.