MANILA—Senate President Franklin Drilon sees no problem if President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will not attend the scheduled proclamation on Monday in Congress.
”I just want to stress that his attendance during the proclamation is personal. It has no legal effect if he will not attend in the proclamation,” Drilon said in a radio dzBB interview on Sunday.
On Saturday, Duterte insisted in a media briefing in Davao City that he will not attend his proclamation in Congress.
The Congress, sitting as national board of canvassers (NBOC) for president and vice president, finished the canvassing of votes last Friday with Duterte and congresswoman Leni Robredo winning in final and official tally.
Duterte of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) won the May 9 presidential race with 16,601,997 votes while Robredo, a candidate of the ruling Liberal Party, topped the vice presidential election with 14,418,817 votes.
Drilon said the Senate and the House will resume their joint session at 2:00 p.m. on Monday to proclaim Duterte and Robredo.
Drilon, an LP vice chairman who topped the senatorial elections with more 18 million votes, said Robredo will attend the proclamation. However, the Senate leader has not received any formal notice from the Davao City mayor regarding the matter.
”It is my hope that he attends the proclamation because that’s the tradition and this is an institution that strengthen our democracy, the proclamation of our president and vice president, and that’s why we extended our invitation,” Drilon said.
”But then again, whether it will be accepted or not, that is personal position of President-elect Duterte,” he added.
During the proclamation, Drilon said the elected president and vice president need not to deliver speeches.
”The tradition is we will just raise their hands,” Drilon said.
Duterte defeated LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas by over six million votes and other presidential aspirants Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
In the vice presidential race, Robredo outpaced closest rival Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. by only over 200,000 votes and other candidates: Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero, Gregorio ‘Gringo’ Honasan and Antonio Trillanes IV.