Rodrigo Duterte wins vote, will be sworn in as president on June 30
Leni Robredo proclaimed as vice president, as rival Marcos appears to accept defeat
The Philippines congress proclaimed Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s new president and Leni Roberdo as vice president after the fastest official vote tally in the country’s history.
Duterte, long a controversial political figure in the Philippines, seemed set to continue his rebellious ways and did not attend the ceremony, opting to stay in his hometown of Davao City.
The 71-year old, who began his career as a lawyer, recently said he would start his day at 1 p.m. because he would need to read and sign documents late into the night, but required eight hours sleep.
“I don’t care about your 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (work hours). You do whatever you want; as for me, I will be asleep,” he said.
Ahead by 6.5 million votes
The body responsible for the official counting, the joint congressional canvassing committee, confirmed Monday that Duterte had won the presidency by a landslide 16,601,997 votes, a lead of more than 6.5 million votes over his closest rival, Mar Roxas.
Robredo’s official 14,418,817 vote win left her with a far slimmer margin of just 263,473 votes over her closest rival, Bongbong Marcos, son of former disgraced Philippines president, Ferdinand Marcos.
The ceremony comes after a three-day official vote tally by the country’s National Board of Canvassers and declares the final winners of the presidential vote.
Both Duterte and Robredo won’t be officially sworn in until June 30, when the six-year terms of the incumbent president and vice president come to an end.
Marcos “accepts” result
Monday’s proclamation seemed to put to rest any controversy regarding the close vice presidential result, which was the second closest ever in the country’s history.
Marcos’ supporters had previously indicated that they planned to file an electoral protest over the high number of ballots that didn’t declare a preference for vice president – called “undervotes.” But Marcos’ campaign manager, Rep. Johnathan dela Cruz, who addressed the congress after the proclamation, said that the Marcos camp promised to “accept the finality of the count.”
Robredo later told CNN Philippines that the proclamation was a “major step” for her.
“There doesn’t seem to have been anything that was given to me that I didn’t work hard for, and this is one of the tremendously difficult things that I have had to go through, and I know that this isn’t over. But the mere fact that it is now official — because Congress is done with it — it is a major step,” she said.
“Dictator” against evil
Duterte has previously declared that he will be a “dictator” against evil in his new role as president, and vowed to step down in six months if he failed to fulfill his promise to stamp out corruption.
“I will be strict. I will be a dictator, no doubt it. But only against forces of evil – criminality, drugs and corruption in government,” he said.