Separate inauguration to benefit Robredo, says Duterte aide

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he opts to have a separate inauguration from Vice President-elect Leni Robredo due to logistical considerations, his closest aide said.

Bong Go, Duterte's executive assistant, said the inauguration will be held at Malacañan Palace on June 30 with a guest limit of 500.

Go said the number will restrict the guests Robredo wishes to be invited to the oath-taking ceremony.

"This imposition will not be fair to (Vice President-elect) Leni Robredo as the limited slots would restrict her prerogative to invite more guests and supporters as a good number of the slots are to be alloted for members of congress, judiciary and to the diplomatic corps," Go said in a statement.

Duterte's camp said a limited number of slots were given to Duterte's family and friends, while the rest are reserved for members of the diplomatic corps and other officials.

"We are thinking of holding another day for photo ops," incoming Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar told the media in a Facebook live interview by GMA News.

"We believe that Leni Robredo's family and supporters who worked hard for her deserve also to be present to celebrate her victory. And this can only be possible through a separate inauguration," Go said.

Andanar said Duterte apologized to his supporters for holding the inauguration in a smaller venue, instead of a more spacious location such as the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

Go, meanwhile, said that the inauguration will be true to Duterte's "principles on austerity."

"As promised during the campaign period, his inaugural celebration will be simple yet meaningful one... This is also intended to cause the least disruption to the public," Go said.

Boyet Dy, transition team head of Robredo, said in a televised phone patch interview that the incoming vice president plans to hold her inauguration on the same day, June 30, likely in Quezon City.

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