This week, we saw Congress convene in a joint session as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) proclaims Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as the duly-elected President and Vice-President after only one day
The camps of Vice-President Leni Robredo and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno declared early on that they would not object to the NBOC proceedings. Marcos’ counsel, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, thanked Robredo for recognizing the “integrity” of the elections.
For all of the camps, it was all over but the shouting.
The political clock continues to move forward. The 18th Congress is set to conclude in a week’s time. The Senate is due for a changing of the guard. Veteran members of past Congresses- Franklin Drilon, Tito Sotto, Richard Gordon, Ralph Recto, and Kiko Pangilinan- are all set to exit the chamber. Except for Loren Legarda, the most senior members of the Upper Chamber will have been initially elected to the Senate no later than 2004. Returning Senators Chiz Escudero and Alan Cayetano were first elected to the chamber in 2007. Jinggoy Estrada was first elected in 2004.
President Duterte’s term is set to end on June 30. This is also the day that his successor, President-elect Marcos Jr., will take his oath of office. For Duterte, it’s the end of a decades-long career in politics. While Duterte was first elected to national office in 2016, he had been a familiar face as Davao City’s “Punisher” since the 1990’s. President Duterte will exit with the highest-ever approval rating of any outgoing Philippine President. His daughter, however, is not only set to become Vice-President but also assume the role of DepEd Secretary.
President-elect Marcos is still in the process of forming his cabinet. He appears to be sticking to his “Unity: message, appointing former Aquino and Estrada cabinet members to his team. Arsenio Balisacan will take on the challenge of being the Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for a second time. Many members of the U.P. faculty will also be joining the Marcos Cabinet.
As the term of Rodrigo Duterte closes, so does a chapter of Philippine politics. The contours of the next chapter are just beginning to be written.