Duterte, family attend Mayor Baste’s oath-taking

Edith Regalado - The Philippine Star
Duterte, family attend Mayor Basteâs oath-taking
Mayor-elect Sebastian Duterte takes his oath at the Sangguniang Panlungsod in Davao City Monday (June 27, 2022), witnessed by President Rodrigo Duterte (left), his children, mother Elizabeth Zimmerman, and sister, Vice President-elect Sara Duterte (right). Duterte vowed to continue protecting the welfare of Dabawenyos.
pna.gov.ph / Screengrab

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Sebastian “Baste” Duterte took his oath yesterday as Davao City mayor, replacing his elder sister Sara, who is now the country’s vice president-elect.

President Duterte led family members in witnessing his youngest son take his oath at the Sangguniang Panglungsod session hall here at 3 p.m.

Also present was Elizabeth Zimmerman, the President’s first wife and mother of Sara, Sebastian and Paolo, the city’s first district representative.

Paolo was a no-show at his brother’s oath taking, and at his sister’s inauguration as vice president last June 19. There were reports Paolo and his family went abroad for a vacation after the May 9 elections.

“If you ever see him (Paolo), tell him his father is looking for him,” the President said during the ceremony.

In her message, the vice president-elect told her brother to make sure that Davao City would remain an ideal place to live, work and play.

“Davao City is a peaceful, sustainable and safe city which I saw for the past three years which I think is the same dream as Sebastian’s,” Sara said.

“We are hopeful and excited as we have a new mayor in Davao City. I want to assure him that the Office of the Vice President is open to him starting July 1 if there is anything he wants to consult on,” she added.

Court of Appeals Associate Justice Loida Posada administered the oath-taking.

Davao City vice mayor-elect Melchor Quitain Jr., other newly elected city officials also took their oaths.

In remarks after the oath taking, President Duterte said corruption in government can never be eliminated, only minimized.

“Corruption is endemic. It can’t be stopped but it can be minimized,” the outgoing President said.

One of Duterte’s biggest campaign promises in 2016 was to rid government of corruption.

The President urged Filipinos not to believe those who promise to end corruption in the government. “It’s very hard really to stop the corrosive effect of money upon the person,” he said. Duterte said corruption is “strongest” in the higher echelons of government.

“I’ve been telling you ever since that the corruption in the Philippines is very lucrative up,” he said.

He also said president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was right to decline invitations to presidential debates during the campaign as he dismissed such events as a moneymaking mechanism for sponsors.

Duterte said he was not given enough time to discuss his positions on key issues during the 2016 presidential debates. He said he had to limit his speeches because of the time constraints and was not able to consume the time given to him.

“We were only given half a minute or one minute, and that’s it... and it was for show,” the President said.

“During the campaign, we had a limited time to talk. The next time that you are a candidate, you’re invited to do that. Marcos was right. Declined,” he added.

Duterte went on to claim that debates were intended to generate money for program sponsors. “It earns money for them. At your expense sometimes,” he added. – Alexis Romero, Helen Flores


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