By Lilybeth G. Ison
MANILA (PNA) – As promised during his election campaign to have a “simple” inauguration if ever he wins, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will be sworn in by a Supreme Court Justice as the country’s 16th President with only 500 officials and guests invited to Malacanang.
Incoming Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol, in a statement on Monday, said that members of the diplomatic corps and retired generals would be among the 500 people who will witness the Presidential inauguration.
Pinol said that during the last meeting of the Cabinet secretaries-designate, the incoming President told them that “we all have to come by our lonesome and that we could not bring any member of our family because of the lack of space.”
He said the guest list would also include people very close to the President-elect and those who helped him during the campaign.
Incoming Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Head Christopher “Bong” Go, in an earlier interview with the media, said that Duterte will take his oath before Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall in Malacañang before delivering a speech on his plans and policies.
Go said the President-elect will be wearing a Barong Tagalog made of cotton.
Traditionally, incoming Philippine presidents hold their inauguration at the Quirino Grandstand in the Rizal Park (formerly Luneta) and witnessed by thousands of guests.
Go said the incoming President would only like to have a very simple inauguration.
“Ayaw niya ng magastos,” he said.
Go said that Duterte does not want to burden people with the heavy traffic on the day of his inauguration since it is on a Thursday, a regular working day for the majority.
He said “ordinary” food will also be served during the inauguration.
“Ordinaryong pagkain lang. The mayor (President-elect Duterte) wants his inauguration very simple. The food will be served before he takes his oath, after that, wala na,” he said. (PNA)