VP spox: Robredo to welcome Duterte endorsement provided 'it's not transactional'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 16) - Vice President Leni Robredo will be thankful for President Rodrigo Duterte if he openly endorses her as next president, but only if the support is not transactional, her spokesperson clarified Wednesday.

"She said if that happens, she will welcome it provided that it's not a transactional arrangement. In other words it's not an endorsement in exchange for something else," Office of the Vice President spokesman Barry Gutierrez told CNN Philippines' The Source.

"You know, obviously, this is an election," he noted. "If somebody comes forward and says, 'I'm going to support you,' then the response is thank you and move on."

He noted, however, that Robredo is not really actively seeking or courting Duterte's endorsement, but she would be open to any significant support given what she represents and the values that she carries.

Duterte has not yet named the candidate he wants to endorse ahead of the May elections. While some of his allies in the ruling political party PDP-Laban are waiting for his own announcement, there are those who have already actively campaigned for their preferred candidates.

Robredo is expected to battle it out with survey frontrunner Bongbong Marcos, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senators Ping Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, labor leader Leody de Guzman, and four others perennially filling up the bottom half of pre-election surveys.