Congress proclaims Duterte president-elect, Robredo vice president-elect

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, on Monday proclaimed Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the next president and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo as vice president of the Philippines.

Duterte, who days ahead said he is skipping the proclamation, did not attend the ceremony held at the Batansang Pambansa in Quezon City. Robredo's hands were raised in victory by Senate President Franklin Drilon and House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, incoming presidential spokesman Sal Panelo explained that Duterte decided not to attend the proclamation because he is “busy finishing the completion of his Cabinet.”

The proclamation was halted temporarily when Northern Samar Rep. Harlin Abayon, who claimed his name was not called during the roll call, sought clarification about his status as a member of the House. He was declared out of order and House leaders directed that he be escorted out of the session hall.

ABAKADA party-list Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz also took the floor and questioned the integrity of the automated polls. In his privilege speech, the campaign adviser of defeated vice presidential candidate Sen. Bongbong Marcos, questioned Smartmatic's capability of conducting automated elections.

Senate Majority leader Alan Peter Cayetano and House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II made separate motions to proclaim Duterte and Robredo. Drilon and Belmonte did so, also separately, formalizing the proclamation of the Duterte as the country’s new president and Robredo the vice president.

The congressional canvassing committee ended its vote count last Friday showing Duterte winning by a landslide with 16,601,997 votes. This is more than 6.6 million votes received by his closest rival, administration bet Mar Roxas, or 39 percent of all votes cast for the presidency.

Duterte, who turned 71 last March 28, will be the oldest to assume the presidency on June 30.

Receiving 14,418,817 votes, Robredo won the tight vice presidential race against closest rival Marcos with just 263,473 votes.

Also read: Marcos' camp to challenge Robredo victory

Robredo beat Marcos with the second slimmest margin in the history of the vice presidential polls. In the 1965 vice presidential elections, Nacionalista Party candidate Fernando Lopez edged Liberal Party bet Gerry Roxas by less than 27,000 votes.

"There doesn't seem to have been anything that was given to me that I didn't work hard for, and this is one of the tremendously difficult things that I have had to go through, and I know that this isn't over. But the mere fact that it is now official — because Congress is done with it — it is a major step," Robredo told CNN Philippines.

Duterte and Robredo, form the first "geographically balanced" president and vice president under the 1987 Constitution, according to Malacañang. Duterte is the first president from Mindanao, while Robredo is the first vice president from the Bicol region.

Duterte on Sunday said he has not yet decided on a cabinet post for Robredo. He also said no meeting has been set between him and Robredo.

Duterte said it would be "awkward" to meet the incoming vice president when he's still not ready to offer her anything. He said they should first try to build "good rapport" since they do not really know each other.

During the vice presidential debate, the widow of interior secretary Jesse Robredo said that she wants to take the lead in streamlining all of the government's anti-poverty programs.

She told CNN Philippines in an interview last Friday she hopes to head the social welfare department, but will respect Duterte’s choice. Duterte has said he will give the post to a nominee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Outgoing Communications Sec. Sonny Coloma marked the proclamation as "a significant landmark event in Philippine democracy as it is the major step in our electoral process that leads the nation to a peaceful transition of power on June 30, 2016."

"We are celebrating the vitality of our democratic system through the clear-cut expression of the popular will through the ballot. Let this be an augury of an even more auspicious future as the country builds upon the gains achieved through good governance and the determined efforts to ensure inclusive growth for all Filipinos," Coloma said.