No special seats for Kris, other VIPs at Robredo inauguration | Inquirer News

No special seats for Kris, other VIPs at Robredo inauguration

/ 05:31 PM June 30, 2016

PHOTO FROM LENI ROBREDO MEDIA BUREAU

Kris Aquino poses with Vice President Leni Robredo. PHOTO FROM LENI ROBREDO MEDIA BUREAU

Elegantly dressed VIPs, even celebrity Kris Aquino, did not get special seats during the inauguration of newly sworn-in Vice President Leni Robredo.

Throughout the entire program, Kris had to stand at the back as she arrived a few minutes late at the Quezon City Reception House, Robredo’s new office where she took her oath on Thursday morning.

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READ: LOOK: Kris Aquino poses with VP Leni Robredo, daughters

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Some Cabinet secretaries of the outgoing Aquino administration were also seated far from the stage. Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Rene Almendras sat in the back row.

Upon entering the venue, all guests, regardless if they were politicians or celebrities, were told that seating was on a first come, first served basis.

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Earlier, Robredo’s spokespersons said the free seating policy represented the equality among guests from different sectors.

They said Robredo wanted the ceremony to provide a glimpse of how she would serve as  Vice President of the country.

Farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples, persons with disability, the urban poor sectors and the Bangsamoro community played key roles during the inauguration of Robredo, a pro bono lawyer who worked with poor communities before she was thrust into politics after her husband Jesse died in 2012.

Among the VIPs present were her former running mate Mar Roxas, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Robredo’s campaign manager Senator Bam Aquino, Senators Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Sonny Angara, Robredo’s legal team Senator Leila de Lima and veteran lawyer Romulo Macalintal,  former Cabinet secretaries Butch Abad, Jun Abaya, Ging Deles, Armin Luistro, Ronald Llamas, Liberal Party lawmakers Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice and Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, former Human Rights commission chair Etta Rosales, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, lawyer Karen Jimeno,  celebrities Dingdong Dantes and wife Marian Rivera, Enchong Dee and Bea Binene.

Jehanne Mutin, a Bangsamoro woman leader; Bajekjek Merida, a Sumilao farmer; Alice Murphy, urban poor leader; and Gabriel Querubin, a PWD representative led the flag ceremony.

A choir composed of children from the slum communities in Payatas sang the national anthem.

Robredo was sworn in as vice president by two village captains.

Ronaldo Coner, village chairman of Punta Tarawal, the “smallest, farthest and poorest” village in Camarines Sur’s third district, was one of those who administered the oath-taking.

In an interview after the ceremony, Coner said he was elated that a vice president gave importance to a small and remote village in Camarines Sur, Robredo’s home province.

“Napakasaya at magandang adhikain ito dahil pinakilala tayo ng bise presidente ng Pilipinas,” Coner said.

Regina Celeste San Miguel, village captain of Mariana in Quezon City, which has jurisdiction over Robredo’s office in New Manila, also administered the oath.

Wearing her old pink Filipiniana designer Paul Cabral had remodelled, Robredo took her oath with her daughters Aika, Tricia and Jillian, who held the Bible, beside her.

In her speech, Robredo vowed to fulfill her promise during the campaign to give priority to the poor by streamlining poverty-alleviating programs.

She said she would create partnerships between the government and the private sector to improve the lives of those in the ‘laylayan’ (fringes of society).

Robredo also called on those with “a passion for helping the poor” to come to her office and join her program to alleviate widespread poverty in the country.

“We can accomplish many things in the next six years. We invite all who have a passion for helping the poor, for fixing systems for the poor, for unlocking barriers that perpetuate the status quo in the poorest areas of our country, to come to our office,” she said. TVJ/rga

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