Time for Duterte, Robredo to meet, show inclusivity of gov't - experts

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For political analyst Dindo Manhit and sociologist Nicole Curato, a formal meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo would cement the "inclusivity" of the new administration.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The last of June marked the first day of a new administration – and some experts expressed hope that the country's two top leaders would finally hold a formal meeting together.

Political analyst Dindo Manhit told CNN Philippines on Thursday that "it's not good" that President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo could not find the time to talk, despite the fact that they had promoted inclusivity during the campaign.   

"We need, at this time, to really move forward as a nation. We need President Duterte to take a lead on that and, hopefully, that they (Duterte, Robredo) can find time to sit down and move forward and forget about the bickering," Manhit said. 

Meanwhile, sociologist Nicole Curato believed Duterte should prove true to his promise that "everybody" would be given a chance to participate in the new administration.

 

Curato lamented what she called Duterte's lack of courtesy to Robredo, even when the latter already took her oath as vice president.

"If the theme is inclusiveness, how can you not just extend courtesy, not even give a Cabinet position, but just courtesy to a duly-elected Vice President?" Curato said.

She cited the attendance of losing vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos in Duterte's inauguration as a factor why unity had yet to be portrayed by the new government.

"We can even see Bongbong Marcos in that inauguration. If you have a space for the competitor of Vice President Robredo in Malacañang...  It really sends a thorny message to the public in terms of bringing more substance to the claim of unity and being the president of everybody." 

Manhit claimed Marcos' filing of an electoral protest against Robredo worsened the "divisiveness" of the situation.

"We don't really know if there's substance to it (Marcos' electoral protest) but it's something that should not define the relationship between a proclaimed and now an inaugurated President and Vice President," he said.

Related: Losing VP bet Marcos files electoral protest vs. VP-elect Robredo