Beating the son of former dictator and Senator Ferdinand Marcos by a hairline during the national elections, Ang Nanay ng mga nasa laylayan (the mother of the poor) finally took her oath of office on June 30, after a controversial victory that is yet to be challenged by the camp of her rival.
The following 14 things are information regarding the oath-taking of the 14th Vice-President of the Philippines:
1. Separate inauguration
Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte rejected the request of Vice President-elect Maria “Leonora” Leni Robredo to have a joint inauguration with her, saying that it is for her and her camp’s benefit. Since there is only a limited space at the Rizal Hall of the Malacanang, they cannot accommodate guests for both Duterte and Robredo.
Following the usual tradition, the president and the vice-president have a joint inauguration regardless of whether the parties they ran under are the same or not. A separate oath-taking ceremony is a rare event in the country.
2. It was held at the Quezon City Reception House in New Manila
After being rejected of her invitation, Vice President-elect Robredo decided to hold her inauguration at the Quezon City Reception House in New Manila. The place which was formerly the controversial Boracay Mansion during the time of President Joseph Estrada is also where the new vice president will hold office for six years.
Boyet Dy, Chief of staff of Robredo, said that they have decided to follow the lead of Duterte in having the inauguration at the same place where he will soon hold office.
3. Her oath-taking were administered by village chiefs
Ronaldo Coner, 51 year old Barangay Chairman of Punta Tarawal, Calabanga Town in the province of Camarines Sur and Regina Celeste San Miguel, Barangay Chairman of Barangay Mariana, administered the ceremony. Calabanga Town is described as the smallest, poorest, and farthest” village in the district of Robredo.
This event is tagged as historic because this was the first time that a vice-president, the person having the second highest position in the land, took oath before a village chief.
“It is a great honor that our village chief was chosen to administer the oath taking of Vice President Leni Robredo. You see, our small village is chosen among thousands of villages all over the Philippines,” Village Councilor Salvacion Templonuevo said.
4. Mar Roxas, Kris Aquino
Robredo’s presidential runningmate Manuel “Mar” Roxas and Celebrity Kris Aquino attended her inauguration.
Roxas, whose new-found hobby is set on travel blogging, expressed his joy over the victory of Robredo when they attended the oath-taking of Mayor Tomas Osmena in Cebu City.
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Kris Aquino, the highest donor of the new VP, represented the Aquino family on Leni’s inauguration since her other sisters joined the exit of President Aquino.
5. Simple and modest
The former human rights lawyer who is known for her humility, grace, and exceptional leadership skills as representative of Camarines Sur, achieved a simple and modest ceremony, just like the president.
According to Georgina Ann Hernandez, spokesperson of Robredo, the menu consists of pichi-pichi, sotanghon, maja blanca, different kinds of pandesal and a buchi with choc-nut, Robredo’s favorite local chocolate.
7. 10 minutes speech
Robredo earlier vowed to have a 10 minute speech, longer than Duterte’s 5-minute speech, as he claimed. Her speech was delivered in pure Filipino.
8. 300 guests were invited
Since the venue can only cater to a limited number of guests, only 300 persons were invited to join her in the historic ceremony.
“We made sure to invite the people who have been part of the campaign and really supported us—the volunteers and workers who worked tirelessly during the campaign,” Robredo said.
9. Outdoor ceremony
“In fact, we’re doing it (ceremony) outside the building because the office is really small,” Robredo said, referring to the restricted space inside the guest house.
Certainly, her daughters Jillian Therese, Janina Patricia, and Jessica Marie were there to support their mother.
11. Presence of the marginal sectors
Robredo asked her inauguration committee to also invite representatives from the marginal sectors which includes women, poor, farmers and others of the same kind.
12. 1 hour long
The ceremony started at 9:00 am and ended at around 10:00 am.
13. Thanksgiving party
After the ceremony, Robredo went straight to her thanksgiving party and celebrated with her supporters in the afternoon at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.
14. Participation of Payatas Children Choir
The inauguration started with a flag-raising ceremony. And since she is known to be the nanay ng mga nasa laylayan (mother of the poor), the Payatas Children’s Choir sang the national anthem.