All set for Sara Duterte’s inauguration

By: Carmelito Francisco - Inquirer Mindanao | June 19,2022 - 07:03 AM
Photo of the stage that will be used during the inauguration of Vice President-elect Sara Duterte.

The stage is being set-up at San Pedro Square where Vice President-elect Sara Duterte will take her oath on Sunday, June 19. | BING GONZALES

DAVAO CITY—All is set for the inauguration here on Sunday of Mayor Sara Duterte as the country’s 15th Vice President.

Duterte’s oath will be administered by Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando whom her father, outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, appointed as the 180th member of the Supreme Court in 2018.

Hernando had been Duterte’s law professor at the San Sebastian College. According to her, Hernando and his wife had been her friends for over 10 years now.

A stage was built in the junction of Bolton and San Pedro Streets, in front of City Hall, for the inauguration rites, the first one to be held here for an elected national official.

The First Family, led by the elder Duterte, will be there to witness another family member take on another important national post, along with an expected crowd of some 25,000.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a close Duterte ally who helped push the mayor into the national political stage, is also expected to attend the ceremony.

Facing reporters on Saturday, Duterte explained that she chose to hold her inaugural in the city to pay tribute to its people who, she said, gave her the opportunity for a career in public service.

“I thank all the people of Davao because they mold me as a public servant. They taught me how to prolong my patience. I thank them for their support and for believing in me (from) 2007 until 2016,” she said.

Duterte entered politics in 2007, as vice mayor while her father was mayor. They exchanged posts in 2010. In 2013, she gave way for her father to recapture the mayoralty. She returned to the post in 2016.

“My heart is full because I am with the people of Davao,” Duterte said.

Duterte also said that she takes her oath 11 days earlier than her assumption into office so she can attend the presidential inauguration on June 30.

Silverio Anglacer, a well-known designer in the city who has been Duterte’s couturier since 2010, is making her gown for the historic event, as well as dress up the First Family.

Duterte said she is staying at home on Saturday night to await the inauguration day.

The inaugural will kick off at 3 p.m. with a concelebrated Holy Mass at the San Pedro Cathedral. The Mass will be live streamed in LED screens installed outside the church.

After taking posterity photos inside the Cathedral, they will then transfer to the San Pedro Square, which is in between the Cathedral and City Hall, for the oath-taking rites.

The University of Mindanao Chorale will render the national anthem and the city’s hymn, Tayo’y Dabawenyo, composed by Pedro Sanvicente and musical arrangement by Guillermo Anajao.

An ecumenical prayer will be delivered by Fr. Emmanuel Gonzaga, a Catholic, Aleem Mohammed Pasigan, a Muslim, and Datu Rodolfo Mande, a Matigsalug.

Just before Duterte will take her oath, Andrew E and Njel de Mesa will perform a musical number.

After Duterte’s inaugural address, people who are in attendance can have a photo opportunity with her at the nearby Quezon Park.

A musical festival will follow the inaugural rites.

The police have tightened security in the city ahead of the inaugural, closing the portion of San Pedro St. used a venue since Friday afternoon.

A priest blesses troops during the send-off ceremony Friday afternoon at the Davao City Police Office grounds. More than 3,700 combined security personnel from different units are deployed to secure the oath-taking ceremony of Vice President-elect Sara Duterte on June 19. | BING GONZALES

More than 4,000 police officers have been deployed in and around the venue.

Angel Sumagaysay, Public Safety and Security Command Center chief, said all kinks have been ironed out after a series of coordination meetings.

“The security and safety clusters have been ready and we are ready to implement the security plan,” said Sumagaysay as he reminded those who plan to attend not to bring with them backpacks, pointed objects, non-transparent water bottles and must not wear jackets.

Unless allowed by the organizers, Sumagaysay said flying of drones is not allowed, while the city government has also passed a resolution that closes down all streets leading to the San Pedro Square where the inauguration will be held.

The venue will be opened at 2 p.m. As they enter, people will be given food packs, for free, while water stations are installed in specific points.

Persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and visibly pregnant women will have a separate area allotted for them.

Vendors, who sell their products within the area, are not also allowed to use the area temporarily until after the event, said Paul Bermejo, head of the Auxiliary Services Unit, although they will also be allowed to sell in areas where attendees can also buy food items. There are about 600 vendors who use the area for their livelihood activities on a given day.

Brig. Gen. Benjamin Silo Jr., Police Regional Office-11 director, said they have coordinated with other nearby regions to ensure that the borders are controlled as a gun ban has been implemented in the region until June 21.

“We’ll be having very strict border checkpoints, four regions will be participating in this undertaking—Regions 10, 12, and 13. And all provincial police offices under PRO-11 will do the same thing. So during the checkpoints, one of the priorities there will be in (the banning) of guns. Even if they have licenses, it is still a violation because the permit to carry is suspended,” Silo explained.

Military units under the Eastern Mindanao Command have also committed to deploy their personnel and assets for the event, said Major General Nolasco A. Mempin, commander of the Task Force Agila.

The city government will also be deploying about five buses per area to ferry passengers who want to attend the event, said Dionisio Abude, City Transport and Traffic Management Office. / with reports from Jeoffrey Maitem

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TAGS: 15th Vice President, 400 policemen, Cebu Daily News, Inauguration, oath taking, San Pedro Square, Sara Duterte

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