IT’S going to be a no-show for incoming president Rodrigo Duterte at today’s proclamation by Congress of the nation’s next leader after President Benigno S. Aquino III leaves office.
“I am not attending any proclamation. I have never attended any proclamation in my life,” Duterte told newsmen.
Duterte said that his lawyers will represent him in the proclamation deemed a historical moment for election winners, who are not required to attend the event.
“May mga abugado ako doon. Makinig na lang sila,” Duterte said.
Today the Senate and House will reconvene in a joint session to proclaim the winners of the presidential and vice presidential races in the May 9 polls.
Congress will also proclaim Vice President-elect Leni Robredo.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte’s running mate in the last campaign, said that the outgoing mayor of Davao City had never attended any of his proclamations in his 30 years in public office.
“In all of my political aspirations, nanalo naman ako. Sabi ko nga baka God would want me to taste defeat but it never happened,” Duterte said.
The mayor then added in jest: “Pero hindi bale, sa sugal talo naman ako parati so bawi lang din.”
Duterte’s executive assistant Bong Go said the mayor, whose term as mayor ends on June 30 as his presidency begins, might just give a message here in the province after the proclamation.
Duterte meanwhile said he already asked former National Treasurer Leonor Magtolis-Briones to head the Department of Education (DepEd) and Benjamin Diokno the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
This coming Tuesday, the Davao City mayor is set to name the heads of the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Science and Technology (DoST), and Department of Tourism (DoT).
Duterte said he is eyeing someone from the ranks for the DoST post while he is keen on retaining Ramon Jimenez at DoT secretary in view of his good record.
Briones and Diokno, who both served the Estrada administration, are expected to meet with Duterte in Davao.
Duterte said he cannot travel to Manila before the oath-taking because of prior commitments so he offered to get tickets for their travel to Davao.
Briones, who was the former National Treasurer 1998-2001 and Professor Emeritus of Public Administration at the National College of Public Administration & Governance (NCPAG) of the University of the Philippines-Diliman, has yet to decide on the offer.
Diokno, who is a professor of economics at the University of the Philippines, was the former secretary of DBM 1998-2001 and undersecretary for Budget Operations at the DBM 1986-1991 during the administration of President Corazon Aquino.