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The National Board of Canvassers is all set to proclaim Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni G. Robredo as the president- and vice president-elect today.
Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, in a radio interview over DZBB, expressed hope Duterte “will honor tradition” and appear at the formal proclamation at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City today.
But Duterte said he would not attend his proclamation and instead send representatives. Duterte had not been attending his proclamations for the past 30 years.
Drilon said he is certain that Robredo, who won in a tight race against Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., will attend her proclamation.
“The joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives who did the actual canvassing will submit the report and this will be approved by the Senate and the House acting jointly as the NBoC,” Drilon said.
“I do not see any problem, within one hour’s time, we will finish the proclamation. After an hour from convening, we will have a new president-elect and vice-president elect,” the Senate leader said.
While speculations are rife that Duterte will skip his proclamation, senators are hopeful he would reconsider.
“He didn’t give any final word, for my part, I just send word to him asking if he can come. I am hoping he can. I hope he changes his mind,” Sen. Koko Pimentel said.
Drilon said that while there is no legal effect should Duterte refuse to appear, it is up to the mayor to decide whether or not he should attend.
“It is my hope that he attends the proclamation because that is the tradition. Proclaiming the next president and vice president is part of the mandate of this institution which is tasked to uphold our democracy that is why we extended the invitation,” he said.
“But then again, I repeat, whether or not he accepts, it is a personal position of president-elect Duterte,” he added.
Besides, Drilon said there would be no speeches, only the raising of hands of the winners.
“There would be no speeches. The tradition is, we will just raise their hands…what is important is the tradition and symbol that we are a working democracy,” Drilon said.