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Duterte wants separate inauguration – Robredo camp

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President-elect Leni Robredo will be sworn in separately, the Robredo camp announced Wednesday, June 15.

Boyet Dy, head of Robredo's transition team, said they were told that the Duterte camp wants to hold a separate inauguration for the president-elect.

"While we have been preparing for a joint inauguration, we respect their decision and will begin our own preparations for a simple and modest ceremony," Dy said in a statement.

Dy added that Robredo will take her oath in Metro Manila, and will be sworn in by a barangay captain from her hometown, Camarines Sur. The exact venue was not specified in the statement.

"[The vice president-elect] wishes to be sworn in by Captain Ronaldo Coner of Barangay Punta Tarawal, Calabanga, the smallest, farthest, and poorest barangay in Camarines Sur," he said.

Like Robredo, Duterte's transition team previously said that the president-elect wants a "frugal" inauguration ceremony on June 30.

Duterte himself said in late May that he wants the oath-taking to happen at the Office of the President in Malacañang Palace "kasi walang gastos" (because we won't need to spend much).

He also said that he would invite only 150 people, and give just a 5-minute speech. (READ: What language should Duterte use in his inaugural speech?)

Assurance

In a phone interview with ABS-CBN, Dy said the Inauguration Committee – tasked to prepare for arrangements for the June 30 inauguration – informed the Robredo camp about the development. 

"They gave us an assurance right away that they will provide us with all the support and assistance that our team will require to be able to conduct a simple and modest inauguration ceremony for VP-elect Robredo," Dy said.

Dy also said that from the start, it's been clear to the Robredo camp that it would take its cue from Duterte on the inauguration preparations.

"When they made that decision, we really respected the decision and we made sure we can make our own preparations right away for a simple and modest inauguration ceremony for VP-elect Robredo," he said.

Responding to questions, Dy said that there are still "no clear details or arrangements yet for a possible meeting between" Robredo and Duterte. 

Asked what Robredo would do in the absence of a Cabinet position, Dy said that the vice president-elect would keep her campaign promise of pursuing anti-poverty programs with a focus on those on the margins of society.

He said this can be done through the resources of the Office of the Vice President and through "partnering and engaging stakeholders from across the sectors to be able to push the advocacies that Vice President-elect Robredo are really prioritizing."