The eldest daughter of outgoing Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has been sworn in as the Vice President. Sara Duterte vowed to unify the Philippines at a ceremony in Davao.
It was here that the 44-year-old took over as the city’s mayor a decade before her father – before pursuing a career in national politics. He was sworn in with his running mate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who would soon replace his father as president.
“The days ahead may be full of challenges that call on us to be more united as a nation,” said Ms Duterte. His six-year tenure with Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will formally begin on June 30.
As candidates in the May elections, the pair won a historic landslide victory by forming a powerful coalition and following a message of unity that helped many of their allies to gain power elsewhere in the government. In the Philippines, the President and Vice President are elected separately.
Mr Duterte is a controversial “strongman” who came to power in 2016 promising to reduce crime and fix the country’s drug crisis. But critics say that during his five-year rule, Mr Duterte has encouraged police to carry out extrajudicial killings of thousands of suspects in what he calls the “war on drugs”.
The International Criminal Court has called for a formal investigation into the thousands of murders that took place during the deadly crackdown. Before changing his mind last month and announcing his retirement from politics, Mr Duterte initially said he would stand as vice president.
On Sunday he stood by his daughter as she took the oath of the new role. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – known by the nickname Bongbong – also attended the ceremony. Like his future Vice President, he is also the son of a former leader of the Philippines.
His disgraced father, with whom he shares a name, was ousted from power as the country’s dictator in a 1986 uprising. Bongbong’s election means the Marcos family will now return to power in the Malkanang – or Rashtrapati Bhavan – after 36 years. The Marcos family never apologized for the abuse of the old dictatorship, nor did they return the treasure they were accused of stealing from the national purse.