Duterte's presence in proclamation 'not mandatory' – Pimentel

MANILA, Philippines – No attendance, no problem.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s presence in his proclamation is not compulsory.

Despite this, Pimentel said they would still try to convince the tough-talking mayor to go to his own proclamation next week.

“Pakiusapan po namin kung puwedeng mag-attend ng kanyang proclamation but it's not really necessary or mandatory,” Pimentel told reporters on Thursday, May 26. 

(We will try to ask him if he can attend his proclamation but it is not really necessary or mandatory.)

Asked if it is unusual for a candidate to skip the event, Pimentel told Rappler there were senatorial bets who did not attend their proclamation.

As for Duterte, Pimentel said: “Paano kung ang attitude ng winner ay 'so what?'” (What if the winner's attitude is "so what"?)

The president-elect on Monday, May 23, told reporters he would not attend his proclamation as the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines. He would only fly to Manila for his inauguration on June 30.

Duterte gave no definite reason for not wanting to attend the official announcement of his victory.

Proclamation

Pimentel, head of the Senate contingent in the National Board of Canvassers, maintained they would be able to proclaim the new president and vice president on Monday, May 30.

With just two days of canvassing, Pimentel said they have already finished two-thirds or 114 out of 166 total Certificates of Canvass nationwide.

“Conceivably, with 68 (finished) today, we can do 51 (COCs) tomorrow,” he said.

Based on 113 COCs, Duterte leads the race with 15,140,495 votes. He is followed by Mar Roxas with 9,057,359 votes, Grace Poe with 8,697,378 votes, Vice President Jejomar Binay with 4,971,584 votes, and Miriam Santiago with 1,398,278.

For the vice presidential race, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr leads by a slim margin, 13,214,810 votes, over his closest rival Leni Robredo with 13,131,330. They are followed by Senators Alan Peter Cayetano with 5,546,632 votes, Francis Escudero with 4,639,594 votes, Antonio Trillanes IV with 794,814 votes, and Gregorio Honasan with 695,593 votes.

Even if the NBOC finishes the count of all COCs on Friday, May 26, Pimentel said they could not officially declare the winner yet on the same day.

He said a report must first be submitted to the joint canvassing session, which will then pass a resolution of proclamation. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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