• Duterte may not attend his proclamation as winner of the May 9 presidential elections
  • The incoming president said he has never attended any proclamation in his life
  • The Congress said the proclamation is legal with or without the presence of the winners

Rodrigo Duterte, longtime mayor of Davao City who won the May 9 presidential elections by a landslide with 16,601,997 votes, is not keen on attending his proclamation.

“I am not attending any proclamation. I’ve never attended any proclamation in my life,” he told reporters during a late night press conference in Davao City on Saturday, May 28.

He said the public can only expect his attendance when he is sworn in as the 16th President of the Philippines on June 30.

The joint session of Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, is set to proceed with the proclamation on Monday, May 30.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte’s losing vice presidential candidate, echoed the incoming president’s statement.

“As far as I know, he never goes to his proclamations. That has been his history.  Now, if he changes his mind, that’s up to him,” said Cayetano, who flew to Davao on Friday to meet with Duterte and his transition team, adding “Winning candidates are not required to attend their proclamations.

Manila Bulletin’s Charissa Luci said in her article dated May 29, 2016 that according to Majority Leader and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, who heads the seven-man House contingent to the joint canvassing panel, said Duterte’s absence will not affect the legality of the proclamation.

“I understand both Senate President (Franklin) Drilon and (House) Speaker (Sonny Belmonte) extended their invitations. The presence or absence of the winner to be proclaimed by Congress will not affect the legality. It is legal with or without their presence,” Gonzales explained.