Duterte, Robredo proclaimed new President, VP; Rody a no-show
Congress in a joint session on Monday afternoon officially proclaimed Rodrigo Duterte and Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo as the new President and Vice President of the Philippines, respectively.
But Duterte, who is in Davao City, did not show up as expected. His lawyers attended the proclamation on his behalf.
The Senate and the House of Representatives, which sat as the National Board of Canvassers, convened at 3:10 p.m. and approved the joint canvassing committee report and resolution of both chambers on the proclamation of the duly elected winners.
In his sponsorship speech, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III of the Senate canvassing panel thanked his colleagues for an “efficient and expeditious” canvassing of 167 certificates of canvass in a “record speed” of three days, which he said was the shortest in Philippine history. House Majority Floor Leader Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II delivered the sponsorship speech for the House of Representatives.
Duterte and Robredo’s proclamation came only three days after Congress finished the actual canvassing of votes for President and Vice President.
Duterte won the presidency in the Congress’ official count with 16,601,997 votes, or more than six million votes ahead of second placer Liberal Party candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Robredo beat her closest rival Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. by 263,473 votes in a hotly contested vice presidential race. Alleging poll fraud, the son and namesake of the late dictator was mulling to file an electoral protest.
READ: It’s Duterte, Robredo in final count
The session was slightly interrupted when Northern Samar Representative Harlin Abayon made a manifestation asking who the real representative of the province was and why his name was not mentioned during the roll call in the canvassing. The Supreme Court has ruled that Abayon was the duly elected representative of Northern Samar’s first legislative district, reversing previous resolutions of the HOR Electoral Tribunal nullifying his victory in the May 2013 polls, which was questioned by former deputy speaker Raul Daza.
Gonzales said Abayon’s concern could not be resolved in the joint session.
Abakada party-list Representative Jonathan Dela Cruz, who served as Marcos’ campaign adviser, also delivered a speech that exceeded the allotted two minutes. He cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral process and called technology provider Smartmatic “Smartmagic.”
At 4:10 p.m., an hour after the session started, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., proclaimed Duterte and Robredo as duly elected President and Vice President. This was after both chambers had approved the joint committee report and an accompanying resolution. Senator Alan Peter Cayetano moved for the proclamation of the two.
The session was temporarily suspended to allow Robredo to join the plenary.
The widow of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who had come from a Mass at St. Peter Parish in Quezon City, attended her proclamation.
The proclamation was done only three weeks after the May 9 national polls, one of the fastest in Philippine post-Edsa history.
Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay were proclaimed winners on June 9, 2010 almost a month after the elections.
Duterte and Robredo will take their oaths on June 30, the day Mr. Aquino’s and Binay’s terms would expire. RAM/rga