DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 June) – Reelected Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo “Pulong” Duterte took his oath of office in his residence here on Monday, a day after Mayor-elect Sebastian “Baste” Duterte and other local officials were sworn into office.
Outgoing President Rodrigo R. Duterte administered his son’s oath-taking as shown in a video footage of the ceremony released by the congressman’s office.
Paolo, Duterte’s eldest son with former wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, was accompanied by members of his immediate family, including his wife January Duterte and their children.
The public took notice of Duterte’s absence in the inauguration of Vice President-elect Sara Duterte last June 19 as well as the mass oath-taking of reelected representatives and locals officials of Davao on June 27.
The Office of Representative Duterte did not release a statement as to why he did not attend the ceremonies.
Judge Emmanuel Claudio Carpio, of the Regional Trial Court in Davao City, administered the oath-taking of Vice Mayor-elect Jay Melchor Quitain Jr. as well as Davao’s 2nd District Representative Vincent Garcia and 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab.
Sebastian was sworn into office by Court of Appeals Associate Justice Loida Posadas-Kahulugan.
The President, a guest of honor in Monday’s oath-taking, looked for his son, Paolo, whose name was not included in the list of officials that he would be greeting in his prepared speech.
“Ang wa dire sa greeting, ambot og hain, si Congressman-elect Paolo Duterte, og makit-an ninyo sya karon ingna sya nangita ang iyang papa kaniya (The only one who’s not here, I don’t where he is now, is Congressman-elect Paolo Duterte. If you happen to see him, please tell him that his father is looking for him),” he said.
Paolo served as barangay chair of Catalunan Grande in the city’s first district from 2007 to 2013, city councilor as a sectoral representative of the Association Barangay Captains of Davao City from 2008 to 2013, and vice mayor from 2013 until he resigned in December 2017 after he and brother-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio were among those implicated as members of the so-called Davao Group which was reportedly behind the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling in May of the same year. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)