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Marcos, Duterte proclaimed

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President-elect! It’s a new era as former senator ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and Davao Mayor Sara Duterte are proclaimed in a joint session in the House of Representatives Wednesday. PHOTOGRAPHS BY YUMMIE DINGDING FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE @tribunephl_yumi

Congress, in a joint session Wednesday, officially proclaimed former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor “Inday” Sara Duterte-Carpio, as the next President and Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines.

The historic event occurred at the Plenary Hall inside the Batasang Pambansa Complex on the second day of canvassing of votes for president and vice president — the fastest conclusion of votes for the top two highest elected posts in the nation’s history.

Marcos emerged victorious after obtaining a historic massive lead in a field of 10. He obtained more than 31.6 million votes from 58.77 percent of the electorate.

He was accompanied by his immediate family members in the rostrum, his mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, who was clad in pink terno with butterfly sleeves — a dress she popularized during the 1970’s.

He was also joined by his wife, lawyer Liza Araneta-Marcos, son Simon, and sisters Sen. Imee and Irene.

With his win, the return of the Marcos family to the Malacañang Palace has been secured.

“To have received over 31 million votes from our countrymen is as valuable expression of trust as can be had by anyone in public life. And so, for that I thank our people. Beyond that, I promise you that we may not be perfect but we will always strive for perfection,” Marcos told the media after his proclamation as the 17th President of the republic.

“I’m humbled. For anyone in public service or in a public life, the most valuable thing you may receive from a fellow citizen is their vote,” Marcos said when asked what he felt about his landslide victory in the 2022 presidential elections.

He emphasized that the votes he earned are not mere numbers, but in these votes “hopes and aspirations for the future” of the Filipinos are “embedded.”

“Also embedded in that vote are the trust and the confidence that they give to you to take them to that aspirational future,” he noted.

Marcos’ running mate, Duterte-Carpio garnered over 32.2 million votes, or 61.53 percent of the total votes cast for the vice-presidential race.

Unlike Bongbong, Sara was not accompanied by any member of the Duterte family, not even his father, outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.

She, however, was accompanied by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Davao Occidental Governor Claude Bautista.

Duterte was reportedly meeting with new ambassadors from Cambodia, Indonesia, Argentina and Greece in Malacañang.

He congratulated Phan Peuv (Cambodia), Agus Widjojo (Indonesia), Ricardo Luis Bocalandro (Argentina), and Ioannis Pediotis (Greece) for their designation as new envoys and wished them a productive tenure.

The older Duterte was absent in his own proclamation as president in 2016 and opted to perform his tasks as then mayor of Davao City, becoming the first elected chief executive to have skipped the rites since the 1987 Constitution took effect.

Palace appeal

Malacañang appealed to the public to stand behind Bongbong and Sara who are set to lead the Philippines still grappling with widespread poverty and billions-worth of debts aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.

“As both leaders are about to embark on the responsibilities and challenges of their respective offices, we reiterate our call for our people to stand behind our newly elected leaders,” presidential spokesperson Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.

“Today’s proclamation ceremony by Congress marks another historic milestone in our political life as a nation underscoring that we are, indeed, a showcase and beacon of democracy in this part of the world,” he added.

He reaffirmed the Executive branch’s commitment to “ensure a peaceful, orderly and smooth transfer of powers” to the incoming administration.

Officials will extend “all the necessary support and assistance to various transition activities,” Andanar said.

The proclamation was done shortly after Congress, which sat as the National Board of Canvassers (NBoC) concluded the canvassing of votes for the two highest posts in the land.

The NBoC declared the joint session terminated in the afternoon after canvassing a total of 171 out of 173 total Certificates of Canvass (CoC).

Cavite Rep. Boying Remulla recommended concluding the canvassing without the votes from overseas absentee voters of Argentina and Syria.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, the co-chairman of the joint canvassing committee said he does not want to “disenfranchise” the votes of Filipinos in foreign countries.

However, Zubiri said that the votes from the two countries would not change the results of the election.

House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, co-chair of the joint canvassing committee, agreed to terminate the joint session.

The official canvass of votes by the joint congressional canvassing committee showed that Marcos won the presidential election with over 31 million votes, more than double the number of votes cast for second placer Vice President Leni Robredo.

Duterte-Carpio, the eldest daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, dominated the vice-presidential race after getting over 32 million votes, nearly four times the number of votes earned by her closest rival, Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

It was the first time in recent Philippine history that Filipinos elected a majority president and vice president.

‘Congratulations BBM-Sara’

Outgoing Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto, who co-led the joint session, congratulated Marcos and Duterte-Carpio for their successful electoral bids, whom he said were “placed by God” in their respective positions.

Likewise, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco congratulated the two duly elected officials, whose campaign centered on unity.

In his congratulatory speech, Velasco said that the Congress was a “witness to the unity of our country: A true partnership between the north and the south, that has become the unity of all corners of the country.”

“In previous elections, Filipinos voted for president and vice president from different parties. Finally, this year, we will learn the importance of voting for a tandem — a UniTeam that can work together, a UniTeam that can collaborate with each other, and a UniTeam that can push for a shared national agenda,” he said.

“The people have spoken decisively. This is not just your sweeping electoral victory. This is an overwhelming victory for all Filipinos. This is a victory of our democracy,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zubiri cited the non-objections of other presidential and vice-presidential candidates, as one of the factors in the speedy canvassing of votes.

On Tuesday, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, who represents Vice President Leni Robredo — Marcos’ fiercest rival — made a manifestation that they will not object to the inclusion of all certificates of canvass for president, to “further expedite proceedings.”

The legal counsel of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, lawyer Rizalina Lumbera, also manifested that their camp will not object to the inclusion of CoC in the canvassing.

Congress lauded

The next Chief Executive also lauded Congress and the people behind the orderly and honest general elections, which he said was successful in reflecting the “voice and choice of the people.”

“I congratulate all of those involved in the electoral process, the Comelec, all our teachers, our BEI, up to the National Board of Canvassers here in Congress for what I can say is, in my experience, the best-run elections that we have seen,” he said.

“I am inspired by this responsibility that has been given me.”

“I asked you all to pray for me and wish me well. I want to do well. When the President does well, the country does well. I want to do well for this country,” he added.

Plethora of problems

Marcos and Duterte-Carpio will inherit a plethora of problems while earning a strong mandate to guide the nation’s future economic and social directions.

Among the major issues that they will confront include poverty, which worsened because of large-scale lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

@tribunephl_jom @tribunephl_MJB @tribunephl_mish

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