Duterte’s inaugural speech: from a 2.5 page draft to …

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 June) — A government “for the helpless, hopeless, defenseless.” A government “for the least, the last and the lost.”

If previous inaugural speeches of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte are to be the gauge, the first or the second would be in his inaugural speech as the country’s 16th President and the first Mindanawon head of state.

mayor-presBy noon of June 30,  before Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, Duterte will raise his right hand and place his left on his mother Soledad’s Bible which his 12-year old daughter Veronica (Kitty) will hold, and say: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.”

Exactly three years earlier, on June 30, 2013, the seventh time he took his oath as mayor of Davao City, Duterte asked his constituents to “join me in sustaining not only this governemnt of the people, by the people and for the people but also in creating a government for the least, the last and the lost.”

But Duterte’s favorite is “a government for the helpless, hopeless, defenseless” and at the flag-raising ceremony last Monday – his last as city mayor for 22 years – Duterte acknowledged these were the words that his father, Vicente, lived by as Governor of the then undivided Davao and which he tried to live by, too, as Mayor of Davao City.

As of Friday, June 24, Duterte’s inaugural speech, drafted by City Administrator Jesus Melchor Quitain, who also drafted the 2013 speech, was two and a half pages long.

Quitain said the general theme of his speech would be on the  “change” that he promised during his campaign.

What the final outcome of the speech will be when Duterte delivers it on Thursday, will be “collective na and per instruction na ni Mayor,” Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Duterte’s Executive Assistant and by tomorrow, his Special Assistant and head of the Presidential Management Staff, told MindaNews.

Returning Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said he had “sent my suggested paragraphs” for the inaugural speech.

The inauguration, which will be held at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall of Malacanan Palace, has a guest list of 627.

Duterte is expected to arrive at the Palace at 10:30 a.m. and will be welcomed by outgoing President Benigno Aquino III and will sign the guest book as Aquino’s last guest.

From there, Duterte and Aquino will step out of the Palace for the departure honors for Aquino, after which he will depart for his residence in Times Street, Quezon City while Duterte will ascend the grand staircase as his predecessors did.

The program will begin with the Philippine National Anthem, followed by an Ecumenical Prayer, Musical Number by Duterte supporter Freddie Aguilar, Reading of the Resolution of Both Houses No.1 by Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, reiterating the May 30 proclamation of Duterte as winner in the May 9 elections, and will be followed by the oath-taking.

After he takes his oath, Duterte will sign his oath of office and will deliver his inaugural address.

The oath-taking of his incoming Cabinet Officials will follow, after which, full military honors will be given President Rodrigo Roa Duterte at the Malacañan Palace Grounds.

Quitain, who met Duterte when the latter became his classmate in High School for one year at the Mindanao Colleges (now University of Mindanao; Duterte moved to another school after a year), said Duterte was among the “mischievous” in their class. But when he met him again while he was in third year Law at San Beda and Duterte was in first year, “iba na ang kanyang outlook. He was no longer the mischievous fellow I knew,” Quitain said.

He said he could not have imagined that the mischievous Duterte would one day become President. “Beyond my imagination. This is really destiny,” said Quitain, who has been asked by Duterte to join him in Malacanang. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)