Sara takes oath as Vice President, unveils initial plans. commitment to country

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT Sara Duterte takes her oath of office before Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando as her parents President Rodrigo Duterte and Elizabeth Zimmerman look on at the San Pedro Square in Davao City

By Claire Morales True, Managing Editor
DAVAO CITY – Sara Duterte took her oath as the 15th Vice President of the Philippines before Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando at San Pedro Square here on June 19.
Clad in an emerald green Filipiniana gown, Duterte was sworn in before her fellow Davaoenos as President Rodrigo Duterte and Elizabeth Zimmerman, parents of the Vice President-elect, stood by her side.
Foreign and local guests were led by President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and wife, Lisa; Pampanga Representative-elect and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; officials of various embassies; and incumbent and elected lawmakers led by Sen. Imelda Imee Marcos and outgoing Deputy Speaker, now Senator-elect Loren Legarda.
Prior to the inaugural ceremony, a Holy Mass, presided over by Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, was held at the San Pedro Cathedral.
While her oath-taking was held early, the Vice President-elect will still officially succeed Vice President Maria Leonor Leni Robredo on June 30. She will also assume as Secretary of the Department of Education on June 30.

In her speech, the incoming Vice President said the voice of those who voted for her was loud and clear, with the message to serve the Philippines.

“There is a God. A God whose will transcends the desires of our hearts, one whose will directs us to the way that we might not have imagined — but a way that consecrates ourselves every day to help our fellowmen overcome the difficulties they face in their lives, to change lives, to save lives,” she said.

She stressed that if all would heed to the call to serve the nation, “the country will be heading toward a future of hope, security, strength, stability, and progress.”

In her inaugural speech, Duterte acknowledged the challenges that come with the job.

“But let me reiterate this — we can never go wrong if we are a people dedicated to honoring the will of God, to serving our country and our fellowmen, and protecting the integrity of our families and the future of our children,” the Vice President-elect said.

“Hindi ako ang pinakamagaling, o pinakamatalinong tao sa Pilipinas at sa mundo — ngunit walang makakatalo sa tibay ng puso ko bilang isang Filipino,” she added.

“When I committed myself to governance and public service, I was also determined to finish three consecutive terms as mayor. That will not happen anymore. I am now the Vice President-elect,” Duterte said.

She cited the life and works of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, whose 161st birth anniversary is being commemorated, for teaching her “selflessness and sacrifice could change the country’s fate and shape the children’s future”.

“May his memory light up the fire within us to become patriots. The bravery of Rizal completes the fabric of our identity as Filipinos,” she added.

She urged Filipinos to show love for the country by taking care of their families and communities despite the unending challenges.

“May we rise together every day with the burning promise in our hearts that we love and will continue to love the Philippines as long as we live,” Duterte added.

She said the voice of 32.2 million Filipinos was loud and clear, with the message for her to serve the motherland.

“And this message has been reiterated in my oath: to consecrate myself to the service of the nation. I believe the country will be heading toward a future of hope, security, strength, stability, and progress,” she said.

She thanked the guests and the public who witnessed the event for taking time to celebrate with her on Father’s Day.

“This is a time for families to celebrate but you are here with me. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who make sure that another person is given the best of everything,” she said.

In her inaugural speech, Sara Duterte emphasized the importance of families in rearing children.

She said society faces challenges such as the “winding cycle of poverty, trauma of broken families, life-long baggage because of irresponsible and bad parenting, abandonment issues due to an absentee parent, anguish of gender confusion and discrimination, destruction brought about by drugs, lure of easy money in criminality, cases of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and other sexually transmitted diseases, failure to identify and speak up against different kinds of abuses, life altering effects of teenage pregnancy, detrimental effects of illiteracy, emotional injury of bullying, unstable mental wellness, recruitment to support terrorism, and misinformation in the internet”.

“Today, our children are facing a very complex future, one that is rife with conflict and uncertainties. A strong, loving, happy family sets down all the basic foundations essential in the development and growth of a child,” she said

She highlighted that a strong, loving, happy family sets down all the basic foundations essential in the development and growth of a child. ”

“At home, parents have the duty to teach children the values of integrity, discipline, respect, and compassion for others,” she said.

She cited that the duty of each Filipino family is to emphasize that education begins at home and not “squander the future of our children”.

“I am Inday Sara. A proud Dabawenya. A proud Mindanawon. I am not the best, or the smartest person in the Philippines and in the world but nothing can beat fortitude,” she concluded.

The massive crowd that witnessed the inauguration ceremony of Vice-President elect Sara Dutertey erupted in cheers when she tightly embraced her father, President  Duterte, after she took her oath of office.

The younger Duterte first hugged her mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman, before doing the same to the President following the ceremony presided by Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando.
The embrace is in contrast with reports that father and daughter are not on good terms as the President was not consulted regarding her political plans.
Rapper Andrew E, singer NJel De Mesa, and husband and wife thespians Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez were among the artists who performed prior to the actual inauguration.