(Bloomberg) -- Sara Duterte took her oath as the Philippines’ next vice president on Sunday, almost two weeks ahead of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and breaking with tradition where the two top leaders hold their inaugurations on the day they assume office.
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President Rodrigo Duterte attended his daughter’s inauguration ceremony in the southern city of Davao, her family stronghold where she’s outgoing mayor. Marcos Jr. and former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo were also present during the event attended by thousands.
“Today, our children are facing a very complex future, one that is rife with conflict and uncertainties,” Sara Duterte said in her speech, adding that poverty, drugs and misinformation are among the challenges that the nation faces.
The vice president-elect has said she opted to be sworn in early so that her city can witness the ceremony. Despite the earlier-than-usual ceremony, her term won’t start until June 30, as provided by the Constitution. She also intends to attend Marcos’s swearing-in rites in Manila at the end of the month.
“She will do a great job. I know it,” Marcos Jr. said in an interview with reporters.
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Duterte’s decision to hold her own inauguration shows she’s “treading her own path” when it comes to her father and Marcos, said Ramon Beleno, a faculty member at Ateneo de Davao University’s political science department.
“The spotlight is on her, unlike in a joint inauguration where the highlight is the president,” he said. She is also trying to maintain her connection in the southern Mindanao island, and “form her own niche” by taking her oath there, Beleno said.
The incoming vice-president garnered 32.2 million votes, or 61.5% of the total, in the May elections -- an even bigger share than Marcos, who also had a landslide win. Sara Duterte, who was the front-runner in early presidential surveys until she decided to run as Marcos’s deputy, will serve as education secretary.
(Updates with Duterte’s speech in third paragraph.)
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