• Simplicity to start off ‘real change’


    INCOMING Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the more than 600 guests who are invited to the inauguration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on June 30 will be served adobo, maruya, durian sweets and buko (coconut) juice, a far cry from the lavish reception practiced by past administrations.

    Andanar, in a statement on Sunday, said the simple inauguration is the start of Duterte’s promise of “real change.”

    Duterte, known for his simplicity and frugality, asked to change the conduct of the presidential inauguration, opting to veer away from the usually fancy event on June 30, the date mandated by the Constitution when elected public officials officially start sitting in office after taking their oath.

    Andanar earlier said Duterte, the long-time mayor of Davao City in southern Mindanao, signified that he wants the inauguration at Rizal Hall of Malacanan Palace to be solemn and simple.

    While the list of guests has reached 627, the Palace official said it is unlikely to go more than that.

    Duterte will also hold a modest “diplomatic reception” after the inauguration, which is expected to be a stark contrast to the lavish traditional vin d’honneur hosted at the Palace for members of the diplomatic corps.

    In contrast to past inaugurations, the incoming President has not tapped any famous designer to prepare his attire for the occasion, as he prefers to don a simple barong and slacks.

    “The President wants his oath-taking to be a simple one,” Andanar said.

    Another historic event in Duterte’s inauguration will be the live streaming of the gathering via the popular social media platform Facebook.

    After meeting with Facebook Asia Pacific executives, Andanar said Duterte is poised to become the very first President in Asia whose inauguration will be broadcast through the world’s largest social network.

    “We talked about how Facebook can help us technically in streaming the entire inauguration. We also talked about how important this is for the people,” he added.

    Aside from the live streaming, nine national broadcasting companies will also cover the inauguration inside Malacañang, but will only be allowed inside Palace grounds facing Gate 4.

    Other media members may monitor the event inside the New Executive Building news briefing room where big screens will be provided.

    Duterte earlier pointed out that in his administration, the government will do away with lavish celebrations and judiciously use the people’s money for more important expenditures, a practice which Duterte is renowned for.


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