AN OFFICE at the Court of Appeals was a picture of “national unity” on Thursday.
Five supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte treated supporters of defeated presidential candidates Mar Roxas and Miriam Santiago to a simple meal to celebrate the inauguration of the President from the south.
The menu consisted of lechon belly, tuna belly, lechon manok, red rice and of course, munggo.
Court Attorney IV Haide Acuña said they wanted the menu to be closer to what was prepared by Via Mare for Duterte’s inauguration at the Palace.
A photo posted by Acuña on Facebook showed Duterte’s picture, a Philippine flag and the food set on a table.
She said the Duterte supporters in her office split the bill of P1,085 according to salary grade.
Acuña said in jest that they didn’t ask the five supporters of Roxas and Vice President Leni Robredo and lone supporter of Santiago to chip in because “they are part of the constituency.”
The atmosphere was celebratory and hopeful while the group watched the live telecast of the inauguration.
“It is like a brand new love affair,” said Acuña. “We were clapping right after the oath of office was administered and right after the speech.”
Meanwhile Court of Appeals Cebu Station Executive Justice Gabriel Ingles, when sought for comment, told Cebu Daily News that he was not aware that his office staff held a party to celebrate Duterte’s inauguration as he was on leave yesterday to administer of oath of office of reelected Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto.
“I just came to know nga namangka sila (that they treated) but as long as it was done outside of official time and wa man sila mangampanya (they did not campaign) for votes and it was just an expression of thanks, then for me, there was no rule violated because it was not related to any partisan political activity,” Ingles said.
He also expressed confidence that the open display of support for Duterte by some members of his staff will not affect the judicial independence of the CA Cebu Station because “it was only an expression of the employees” personal preference and was not related to their official functions.