"To the people who have every good intention for Davao City, I will help you. And to those who don't, hatod ta mo kay Taning didto sa h-e-l-l, (I'll bring you to Satan in Hell)," this city’s first woman vice mayor warned.
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's 28-year old daughter, who during the campaign period was projected by her publicists as a sweet and humble ‘Inday’, gained applause and praise for her tough talk.
"I assure you that our council will be clear in all its transactions and that our officials and employees will be held responsible for their actions and decisions," she continued, drawing mixed reactions from the audience who anticipated how she would manage the 26-member legislative body.
"My office now will be an express lane of complaints regarding Sanggunian employees," she said urging employees of the city council not to forget that "we do not serve on our own pleasure and at our own time," she said.
For transparency and accountability, Sara asked government officials and employees, especially at the city council to give constituents simple courtesy and behavior as public servants.
She noted the bureaucracy’s negative image such as its slowness in processing documents and enacting bills.
"I abhor stupidity and mediocre work, so I respectfully request you to tow the line," she said without batting an eye lash.
Sara also cited the need to take care of the city's children and always uphold the general welfare of Davao City.
The younger Duterte appealed to colleagues for cooperation.
"I know I can only do so much as a vice mayor especially at this time when most politicians opt to play safe and secure their perpetuation in the political arena," she said.
"So please, if I am wrong, then by all means, call my attention. But if I am right, even though my decision is unpalatable to you or do not fall on your standards, kindly step back," she added.
Sara's tough talk tends to confirm her father's claims that she, too, has a mind of her own and is capable of and dedicated to her new duties as vice mayor.
Aside from tough talk, Sara also illustrated in popular language resembling her father's popular appeal her pledge that she will offer not only her capacity to contribute, but also her commitment to public service.
Sara illustrated it to an amused audience by saying a hen contributes as it lays eggs but a swine gives commitment when it is butchered and cooked into ‘lechon’.
"Kanang contribution, paghatag kung unsa man tong pwede natong ihatag, sama anang itlog nga atong gipamahaw ganina, ang manok nga naghatag atong itlog aduna gyuy contribution. Samtang ang commitment, mao nay gitawag nga lunod-patay, murag kadtong litson nga atong gikaon, ang baboy nahimo gyug commitment, she said.
(Contribution is what you can give, like the hen in laying its eggs. Commitment, on the other hand, that's what's called really determined, just like the pork lechon we ate, the swine was the commitment.)
"So today, as I am sworn into this office, I am forging my commitment to the City of Davao," she said.
Duterte recognized the achievement of the city council as laudable and she pledged to "continue and contribute my very best to this body."
"Rest assured, I will be at all times impartial in the exercise of my office and in dealing with my colleagues in the 15th Council," she said.
When asked if she will be tough just like her father, Sara simply said, “I will just do my job based on the provisions of the Local Government Code.”
Duterte is a practicing lawyer prior to her entry into local politics.
Duterte and the 26 members of the city council took their oath before RTC-Branch 16 Judge Emmanuel Carpio.
In a sidelight to the event, the older Duterte acceded to request from the audience for him and his former wife to kiss in front of the cameras.