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Robredo to grant Duterte's wish for separate inauguration

Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo smiles as she arrives at the Philippine Congress for her proclamation as vice president-elect on Monday, May 30, 2016 at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines —  The camp of Vice President-elect Leni Robredo on Wednesday said that there will be no joint inauguration ceremony with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Boyet Dy, the head of Robredo's transition team, said their camp is respecting the president-elect's preference to conduct a separate inauguration separately.

"We were informed by the team of President-elect Rody Duterte about their preference to hold the inauguration separately," Dy said in a statement.

"While we have been preparing for a joint inauguration, we respect their decision and will begin our own preparations for a simple and modest ceremony," he added.

Dy said Robredo's inauguration ceremony will still be held in Metro Manila but the incoming vice president wished to be sworn in by Ronaldo Coner, captain of the "smallest, farthest and poorest" barangay Punta Tarawal Calabanga in Camarines Sur.

Duterte's camp earlier said he will hold his inauguration rites at Malacañang to avoid lavish preparations and save expenses. He said he will only deliver a five-minute speech after he takes his oath. Guests will  be served finger food.

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"May finger food lang siguro because it's nearing noontime, but there will be no eating after. Before lang, tapos mag-oath ako. Then I will go nationwide on TV and then I will just spell out my governance in five minutes," Duterte said.

His transition team spokesman Peter Laviña, however, said the five-minute speech is one of Duterte's "jokes."

"'Yung sabi niyang five minutes lang, another one of the jokes na naman 'yun. Malamang abutin 'yan [inauguration speech] ng mga kalahating oras," Laviña said.

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