Vice President-elect Sara Duterte takes oath as 15th vice president

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:18 p.m.) — Vice president-elect Sara Duterte, mayor of Davao City, took her oath of office as the country’s 15th vice president on Sunday.
While her inauguration was held 11 days earlier than usual, the constitution provides that her term as vice president officially begin at noon on June 30. She took her oath of office before Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando on a Bible held by her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman with President Rodrigo Duterte as witness.

In her remarks after taking her oath, the president's daughter said she had wanted to be a doctor but that she was led in another direction: law school and becoming a lawyer.

"When I committed myself to governance and public service, I was also determined to finish three consecutive terms as mayor,” Duterte said in her speech.

"That will not happen anymore. I am now the vice president-elect."

She said that she was called to run for vice president and that "the voice of 32.2 million Filipinos was loud and clear with the message [for me] to serve our motherland."

Vice President-elect Duterte earlier said that she wanted to hold her inauguration early because she wanted the people of Davao — where she was mayor from 2010 o 2013 and from 2016 — to witness her oathtaking. 

She garnered over 32.208 million votes or a commanding 61% of the total votes in the recently concluded 2022 May polls. 

"Hindi ako ang pinakamagaling o pinakamatalinong tao sa Pilipinas o sa mundo ngunit walang makakatalo sa tibay ng puso ko bilang isang Pilipino," Duterte said.

(I am not the best or the smartest in the Philippine but nobody in the Philippines or even the world has greater heart than I do as a Filipino)

Challenges ahead

Duterte, who is to be appointed as secretary of education, also recognized that today’s children face a "very complex future, one that is rife with conflict and uncertainties." Duterte noted challenges such as poverty, the trauma of broken families, “life-long baggage” due to irresponsible parenting, and abandonment issues. 

She also said children are also burdened by the effects of illiteracy, bullying, "recruitment to support terrorism," and misinformation. The drug problem also did not go unmentioned. 

Duterte, who repeatedly referenced God and family in her remarks, called on Filpinos to "commit to [our hearts] the priorities of God, country and family." 

Held at the San Pedro Square in Davao City, those who attended Duterte’s inauguration included President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. along with his wife Liza Araneta-Marcos, Sen. Imee Marcos, Ilocos Norte Congressman-elect Sandro Marcos, as well as Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Duterte's mentor and who has been elected as Pampanga representative.

Vice President Leni Robredo was invited to her successor’s inauguration but had to skip it due to earlier commitments in her hometown, Naga City in Camarines Sur.

Duterte’s team has reportedly been preparing for the transition in both her roles as vice president, in coordination with Robredo’s team, as well as the country’s future education secretary.



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