Sara Duterte-Carpio is set to be sworn in as the country’s 15th Vice President today in her hometown of Davao City, sweeping into office with the largest majority vote since 1969 and garnering the most votes for any office in a single-winner election in Philippine history.
Breaking tradition, the outgoing mayor of Davao is holding her inauguration 11 days before her actual term as Vice President begins at noon on June 30. She will take her oath of office on Sunday before Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando.
Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to attend his daughter’s oathtaking, along with President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and at least four ambassadors, governors, congressmen, and other politicians, Duterte-Carpio said.
“My personal guests are my family, my children; I asked them if they wanted to attend so they confirmed to their mother that they will attend,” she said. “Basically, it’s the immediate family and the extended family from the Zimmerman, Duterte, and Carpio families.”
She also revealed her plan to deliver the “shortest inaugural speech” for a Philippine VP, citing possible bad weather. She noted she wanted to hold her inaugural in her hometown and bailiwick as she is aware that fellow Mindanawons take pride that the next vice president hails there.
“I know that it is truly the pride of people from the provinces that there is a vice president that comes from Mindanao,” she said.
Despite Malacanang saying his attendance was “tentative,” President Duterte—the first Chief Executive from Mindanao—is expected at the event, which falls on both Father’s Day and the birth anniversary of national hero Jose Rizal.
The presidential daughter was declared the winner of the 2022 vice-presidential race last May 25 with 32,208,417 votes or 61.53% of the official ballots cast for her in the May 9 polls.
Duterte-Carpio is the first vice president from the Davao region and the third from Mindanao after Emmanuel Pelaez (1961 to 1965) and Teofisto Guingona Jr. (2001-2004).
On the eve of her inauguration, “Inday Sara” said she wants to build a permanent building for the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and at least six satellite offices as her legacy for the second-highest elected post in the land.
In ambush interviews after inspecting the San Pedro Square venue of her inauguration, the VP-elect said her team will temporarily use the Quezon City Reception House as the OVP headquarters but would seek a move to a bigger place.
Duterte-Carpio also said she would continue to reside in her hometown of Davao, traveling to Manila for work much like her father, who steps down on June 30.
Duterte-Carpio did not mention how long the speech would last but noted that its theme would be like the remarks she made during the recent electoral campaign.
Since Marcos has also tabbed her as the incoming Education Secretary, Duterte-Carpio said she would use her first 100 days in office to discuss resuming face-to-face classes, about two years since the COVID-19 pandemic forced students to take virtual lessons to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
On her plans for the OVP, Duterte-Carpio told reporters in Davao: “It’s stated in the Constitution that the Vice President has no real job except to be a president-in-waiting and except when he or she is assigned a Cabinet position.”
“So, the singular legacy that we want to leave after 6 years (as VP) is a permanent residence for the future vice presidents,” she said.
Duterte’s predecessors used the former Legislative Building, which now houses the National Museum; the Philippine International Convention Center; the Philippine National Bank Building; the Coconut Palace; and the Quezon City Reception House as the headquarters of the OVP, currently being used by outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo.
“We are looking at other areas where we can hold all the personnel of the Office of the Vice President including the organic personnel under the office,” Duterte said.
“It will also be the singular project of the OVP that we will leave behind after 6 years which is permanent Office for the Vice President of the Philippines, which will hopefully benefit the future vice presidents.”
In pushing for the satellite offices for the VP, she said: “We will start with 6 and see how it goes because we understand there will be birthing pains. This will be the first time that it will be done. There is no template, and they are excited.”
The managers for the OVP satellite offices have already held two meetings and are excited, Duterte-Carpio added.
The three-term mayor said she would also replicate on a national scale some of her programs in Davao City.
“I have to divide my time well,” she said, noting she would also serve as a Cabinet secretary in a concurrent capacity. “I will mostly be with the Department of Education since that is critical for us now, especially that we are coming out the pandemic.”
Important dates in VP-elect Duterte-Carpio’s history:
May 31, 1978 – Birthday of Sara Duterte, second child of Rodrigo Duterte and Elizabeth Zimmerman 1999 – Graduated from San Pedro College in Davao with degree in BS Respiratory Therapy
May 2005 – Graduated with Law degree from San Sebastian College-Recoletos; Passed the Philippine Bar Examinations later in the year
May 2006 – Admitted to the Bar, becoming a lawyer; Worked for a few months as a court attorney at the office of Supreme Court Associate Justice Romeo Callejo Sr.
October 27, 2007 – Married fellow lawyer Manases Carpio, whom she met while studying law at San Beda University
June 30, 2007 – Elected as Vice Mayor of Davao City, serving until 2010, with her father Rodrigo Duterte as Mayor
June 30, 2010 – Elected as Mayor of Davao City, becoming the first female mayor of the city and the youngest elected mayor of Davao
October 23, 2017 – Launches Tapang at Malasakit movement
February 23, 2018 – Launches Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional party
November 13, 2021 – Files candidacy for Vice President in May 9, 2022 national elections
November 16, 2021 – Accepts offer to become chairperson of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party
May 9, 2022 – Elected as country’s 15th Vice President with 31,561,948 votes