The May 2022 Philippine Presidential Elections may well be considered the most era-defining political exercise in the country’s history. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of former President Ferdinand Marcos, was elected to office in the largest victory margin since his father’s own back in 1981. No less formidable is his would-have-been competitor-turned-running mate, and now Vice President-elect: Sara Duterte-Carpio, Mayor of Davao City and daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte. Officially, elected officials would take office on June 30 of the election year, when their inaugurations usually take place. VP-elect Duterte however decided to be inaugurated early this past Sunday.

The Philippine Star reports that Sara Duterte went into her early inauguration as 15th Vice President of the Philippines on June 19. True to form and in honor of her hometown, of which her current Mayoral term is soon to conclude, the VP-elect was inaugurated in San Pedro Square of Davao City, 11 days before the traditional inauguration day and start of term on June 30. In fact, despite the ceremony Duterte will not start work as Vice President until the last day of the month.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando administered the oath of office to “Inday Sara”, while her mother Elizabeth Zimmermann held the Bible she swore on and Presidents Rodrigo Duterte (outgoing) and Bongbong Marcos (incoming) stood as the chief witnesses. In her inauguration speech, Duterte-Carpio explained her decision to be inaugurated early in that it would allow her to do so in Davao City itself, where she served as Mayor for three terms (2010-13 and 2016-2022). She also remarked on what could have been with her life if she did not follow her father’s political footsteps, noting that she initially thought of becoming a doctor. The call to service by the people however, steered her until this important moment.

“I am not the best or the smartest in the Philippine but nobody in the Philippines or even the world has greater heart than I do as a Filipino,” declared Inday Sara in her speech. And voters last May agreed, with Duterte earning more than 32 million votes or 61% of the total. The outgoing Davao City Mayor also has the full confidence of incoming President Bongbong Marcos, who has already appointed her as his Secretary of Education. Among Duterte’s ideas for the future of DepEd include the return of face-to-face classes and ROTC program, and introducing mandatory military service.

Image courtesy of Nikkei Asia