LAST MAY 30, at the Plenary Hall of Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City, the Congress officially proclaimed outgoing Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo as President and Vice President-elect respectively. Despite the no show of the former, their titles will remain until June 30.
Even before the Congressional canvassing yet after the partial and unofficial count, Duterte already planned his cabinet and is currently planning his workflow and master plan for the next six years once assuming office on that day. During the press conferences from May 10 until now, his spicy words and unorthodox sentiments on issues and on his critics — filled with ambiguity and expletives — gave mixed signals and interpretations from journalists and broadcasters (usually but not always, a positive connotation in his home turf in Mindanao and negative in Luzon.)
However, the main question in this article of Timow’s Turf is, “What will eventually happen from now until his swearing in as the 16th President of this Republic?”
Note: The content on the tailoring are subject to change without prior notice.
Before Inauguration Day (June 20-30)
Within a few days from now, outgoing President Benigno Aquino III (PNoy) will deliver his Farewell Address to the nation by early evening on all television networks. The delivery of such a final yet significant public discourse is not mandated by law it but it is rather based by tradition, stemming from the United States.
On news and current affairs over the said platform, this is the last stretch of reflection of the outgoing and of going behind-the-scenes for the incoming.
Inauguration Day (June 30)
On this day, the Filipino people will unite and witness the day of peaceful transition of power. It is not usually considered as a nationwide special non-working holiday unless otherwise proclaimed by the outgoing president.
The traditional protocol
Barong Tagalogs and Maria Clara gowns are the official garbs of the day except for officiating judges as they donned in magisterial robes. Foreign ambassadors and international dignitaries do not usually follow the dress code but they do so for cultural courtesy.
During the morning, the President elect fetches the outgoing President in Malacanang Palace. The latter will descend the Grand Staircase, symbolizing the end of the duties within his/her term as the chief executive. They will be accompanied to the Quirino Grandstand and the outgoing President will make the final troop review, fulfilling the duties as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Afterwards, the Inauguration Proper begins with the singing of the National Anthem and the ecumenical invocation. There will be performances until a few minutes before noon.
At that point, the moment of transition begins with the Chief Justice (currently, Maria Lourdes Sereno) administering the oath first to the Vice President-elect — for the line of continuity — and then, the President-elect.
For now, there is no legal impediment if one will take the oath in Filipino and other in English (both of them are official languages), as long as the exact wording in the Constitution is carefully recited.
After taking the oath of office, the ruffles and flourishes will tune in and “We Say Mabuhay,” the Philippine version of “Hail to the Chief,” is played together with the 21-gun salute. This will be followed with the Inaugural Address.
Afterwards, the new President will go back to the Palace, will symbolically climb the Grand Staircase and will attend the inaugural reception. Then, he/she will then administer the oath to the new cabinet and begin their first day’s order of business. On the evening, there may be Inaugural parties such as the Ball (the last one being held in 1981) or a concert like the outgoing President did back in 2010.
Tailoring & speculating for Digong & Leni
However, the traditional protocol is not the case and taste of President-elect Duterte to avoid the hassle of the endless traffic in the Metro, as he will rather took the oath by Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes within Malacanang itself — though he won’t work there — and the inaugural address he will delivered will be brief. Last Wednesday, the camp of the Vice President-elect said that he and Robredo will take their oath of office separately — a very rare instance in the post-1986 inaugurations but at the same time, symbolically losing the notion of national unity (even for one day in their lives) and the chance to have their first presence to each other. Her venue of inauguration is within Metro Manila but no specific location is given, as of press time but she will take an oath to a barangay captain of her home province, Camarines Sur.
Nevertheless, The Turf speculated the inauguration flow that Duterte may be arrived either by a helicopter landing at the Palace complex or by plane in Ninoy Aquino International Airport or Villamor Airbase before arriving in to Malacanang by car. PNoy will nevertheless greet him on either option.
Had Duterte decided to give in with the joint inauguration, Robredo would arrive first in the Palace via bus with her daughters, the media and the bodyguards and ascend together in the Grand Staircase with the outgoing officials to the hall, streamlining the traditional protocol and the swearing-in segment would proceed.
It is unknown for PNoy to stay in Malacanang for a few minutes after Duterte takes the oath but one thing is for sure, he will go back home in 25 Times Street, Quezon City.
Broadcast Insights on I-Day
Traditionally, on national television, all networks have the definite right to partake over the said national event and devote at least an hour or two before noon.
However, broadcasting the coverage is contentious and very fearful because of Duterte’s habit of cussing, as most networks do not have a 5-second delay and an alert bleeper to press the big red button if he uttered such language. Not to mention, his quip of hostility against the media — local or foreign — with incomprehensible body language that is still lingers in.
In addition of his demand of a separate inauguration, this would add up the difficulty.
Two main questions awaits them:
- Will they even air them using a feed from PTV because of media distrust or go on with their normal programming?
- If Channel 7 will still air the swearing-in, will GMA News TV ever simulcast with her after five years for this significant event?
Private establishments, groups and/or individuals can sponsor viewing parties for the inauguration but the Turf thinks that they will focus on their respective hometowns in Davao City and Naga City.
Afterwards, assuming they will carry the inauguration, ABS-CBN and GMA’s noontime variety shows (It’s Showtime and Eat Bulaga, respectively) will start a bit late yet they will shorten it and they’ll go back with their normal flow.
What comes after June 30?
Duterte and Robredo will begin or continue working seriously on their new positions, that is entrusted by the people under the supreme law of the land. We don’t know how will they meet physically to collaborate nationwide policies, for now.
On the media’s eyes, they will start counting his first 100 days (including the inauguration day itself) to look on the new president’s actions to ensure how effective his leadership will be and how trustworthy to fulfill his agenda he promised during his campaign. However, again, this will not be easy for him than his predecessors.
All commercial networks and UHF channels will continue with their normal programming but the haunted consequences are continuing to hover in thanks to the extreme netizen-supporters of the new President over social media accounts.
Meanwhile, the government media consortium, Media ng Bayan* — including the jeopardizing and eroding IBC 13 — will now have to deal with under the supervision of the new Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief, the former TV5 broadcast journalist, Martin Andanar. Andanar will do press conferences in the Palace grounds, as he will be seen on all network news programs around the country.
That being said, it is up to us to judge on our new presidential administration through rigorous research based on clear facts, keen observations and impartial hearing of their perspectives for the next six years.
*Tune in to Timow’s Turf this July for the thoughts on how Media ng Bayan will run under the Duterte administration.
Happy Father’s Day, outgoing President Noynoy and incoming President Digong.
Thank you and please be nice.
[Photos courtesy of: CNN Philippines, Wikimedia Commons and Manila Coconuts.co]