DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Sara Duterte-Carpio has formally taken her oath as the country’s 15th vice president on Sunday, June 19, at the city’s San Pedro Square where thousands gathered to witness the historic moment.
She just became the first vice president coming from Davao City, the third coming from Mindanao (after Emmanuel Pelaez, 1961 and Teofisto Guingona, 2001), and the third woman to hold the position since 1935. (Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that Sara Duterte is the first vice president from Mindanao. This has been corrected.)
Before the inauguration ceremony, a thanksgiving mass was conducted and officiated by Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles.
Sara’s big event was attended by government officials, solid allies, diplomats, and members from the business and other sectors.
Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte and Elizabeth Zimmerman both witnessed their only daughter’s inauguration. Sara’s mother became the bible bearer when supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando presided over the ceremony.
Lawyer Manases Carpio, Sara’s husband, was also present with their children Mikhaila María, Mateo Lucas, and Marko Digong.
President-elect Fernand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and his immediate family, his sister Senator Aimee Marcos, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez also graced the event.
Education begins at home
In her speech, Sara acknowledged the challenges faced by the Filipino youth today as they are “facing a very complex future, one that is rife with conflict and uncertainties”.
The challenges she mentioned include the winding cycle of poverty, the trauma of broken families, the life-long baggage because of irresponsible and bad parenting, the abandonment issues due to an absentee parent, and the life altering effects of teenage pregnancy, among others.
The list could be endless, she said. But she emphasized the duty of parents for a “strong, loving, happy family”.
Sara said these foundations are essential in the development and growth of a child to teach the “values of integrity, discipline, respect, and compassion for others”.
She reminded everyone that “it is the duty of each Filipino family to emphasize that education begins at home”.
An estimated 20 thousand people witnessed the event, according to Davao City Police Office spokesperson Major Ma. Theresita Gaspan. She said, the people, mostly supporters, started to queue before authorities opened the gates at around 1PM.
Spectators come from various areas of the city and other parts of the Davao Region. There are senior citizens, men, women, and children who have various reasons in attending the event.
Romulo Chaves, 51, came all the way from Marilog District. He availed the Libreng Sakay (Free Ride) vehicle of the city government and arrived at the city proper by 10 AM. He waited for two hours to get in line at 1PM and was able to enter the venue at 3PM.
He said Sara’s inauguration is an important event to miss as he campaigned for the former city mayor during the election. For him, the inauguration is a venue to listen to Sara’s plans.
“I have my own reasons why I supported her when she decided to run during the election. Just like her father, I supported Inday because I know she can deliver, she can make programs for the people of Davao,” Chaves told Davao Today.
Duterte Youth volunteer Marky Milyondaga also expects the new vice president to deliver more for the youth as Sara is eyed to lead the education department of the Marcos administration.
“I think this is now the time that Mayor Inday will prove her critics wrong. We have no doubt in her capacity since she was our mayor. My only wish, more scholarships (for the youth),” he said.
Others who attended the event also expected Sara to do something on the oil prices, the lack of water supply in many villages, and low wages. (davaotoday.com)