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Duterte insists on skipping Congress proclamation

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – President-elect Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte on Saturday reiterated that he will be absent from the Joint Canvass Committee’s proclamation for president-elect and vice president-elect at the House of Representatives on Monday afternoon.

“I am not attending any proclamation I’ve never attended any proclamation in my life, in all of my political aspirations,” Duterte said in a press conference.

“Nanalo naman ako sabi ko nga God would want me to face defeat but it never happened, sa bagay sa sugal talo ako parati so bawi na rin,” Duterte he added.

Duterte’s pronouncement is contrary to his legal counsel Vitaliano Aguirre’s statement last Friday where he said the incoming president is likely to attend his own proclamation. Instead, Duterte said his legal counsel representatives, Aguirre, Salvador Panelo, Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III and Salvador Ata may attend the occasion.

On the other hand, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan President Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III earlier said he will convince Duterte to attend the proclamation.

Duterte and vice president-elect Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is scheduled to be proclaimed on Monday afternoon after the JCC finished the counting of 167 certificates of canvass on Friday. Duterte garnered 16,601,997 votes while Robredo earned 14,418,817 votes.

Duterte announced as early as last week that he would not attend his proclamation as the winner of the 2016 presidential race. Duterte said there is no need to attend the event, which he described as a mere “cousin” of the Commission on Elections canvassing. Duterte also said he would only fly to Manila on June 30, the day of his inauguration.
 
Some sectors, however, believe Duterte should attend his proclamation for the sake of the people who voted for him.
 
Despite Duterte’s statement, incoming Justice Secretary Aguirre said last Friday that the incoming president might agree to be present at his proclamation.
 
“I know he (Duterte) might attend,” Aguirre, a classmate of Duterte at San Beda College of Law, said.
 
"He said he should not be believed if what he is saying is improbable,” he added. — with Rosette Adel

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