Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte stood by his word when he said he would not be attending the proclamation at the House of Representatives on Monday. Duterte opted to stay in Davao City to attend to his mayoral duties.
On Monday, Rodrigo Duterte was proclaimed as the 16th president of the Philippines as Congress approved the official tally of election votes.
Straits Times reports that Duterte, who conquered a landslide win with votes amounting to more than 16.6 million, broke tradition as he snubbed the proclamation ceremony.
“He is doing his chores as Mayor of Davao,” explained Duterte’s executive assistant, Bong Go, in a text message, via PhilStar. “There are still a lot of documents for signature.”
The current Davao City mayor’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, also came to his defense, sharing that Duterte would “rather work in Davao” because “he is busy trying to finish the composition of his Cabinet.”
Duterte’s absence at the proclamation comes to no surprise, though. Duterte made a statement on Saturday claiming that he would not be attending in spite of urges from his supporters.
“I am not attending any proclamation,” Duterte asserted. “I have never attended any proclamation in my life.”
“In all of my political aspirations, I won. I said maybe God would want me to taste defeat but it never happened,” Duterte added.
Duterte assured, though, that he would be flying back to Manila on the day of his inauguration. However, he did say in a press conference last week, “If the flight is delayed, then there would be no inauguration.”
On the other hand, Leni Robredo was proclaimed as the incoming vice president. Robredo attended the proclamation with her three daughters, in addition to hundreds of supporters.
This was a triumphant victory for Jesse Robredo’s widow, who won a head-to-head race against Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The two were also involved in a controversy as Marcos continuously asserted that the unofficial ballot counts were compromised.
Both Duterte and Robredo are slated to be sworn into office come June 30.