MANILA – Various scenes of relief and happiness engulfed Wednesday’s atmosphere at the House of Representatives even before the proclamation of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio as winners of the May 9 presidential and vice presidential elections, respectively.
Marcos gave Duterte-Carpio, his running mate, a tight hug upon seeing her inside their holding room at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City hours before their proclamation.
Duterte-Carpio, who flew in via helicopter all the way from Antique, was accompanied by former president and now congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The ex-leader herself greeted Marcos, “Congratulations, Mr. President.” He then asked for her guidance on how he would lead the nation.
Save for some of her staff and security aides, Duterte-Carpio attended her proclamation, solo.
Marcos, on the other hand, came with his wife Liza, son Simon, mother Imelda, sisters Imee and Irene, and brother-in-law Greggy Araneta.
While waiting for their proclamation, the House of Representatives executive lounge was abuzz with well-wishers coming from both chambers of congress and some local officials.
Congress employees also patiently waited outside the lounge just to get a glimpse of the next leaders of the country.
Lawmakers who became part of the joint canvassing committee at around 6 p.m. entered the holding room to personally congratulate Marcos and Duterte-Carpio.
Among them are Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Risa Hontiveros who are both close allies of losing presidential candidate, Vice President Leni Robredo.
Upon stepping inside the session hall, a thundering applause greeted Marcos and Duterte-Carpio.
Shouts of support also reverberated inside the halls of Congress as Senate and House leaders raised the hands of the two.
In a handwritten statement that she read before the media, Duterte-Carpio conveyed her gratitude to the Commission on Elections, teachers, police, military and members of Congress.
"To Comelec, our teachers, police and soldiers, and the honorable members of Congress in joint session, thank you for a generally peaceful and orderly election. Ang akong pagdaog maoy kadaugan sa tanan nitabang, naningkamot ug nisuporta kanako," she said.
(My victory is the victory of all who helped, strived and supported me.)
"The opportunity to serve as vice president I dedicate to Kean Gabriel, Larry, Jaren and Frederick and all those who passed because of terrorism, abuse, criminality, and bullying. Thank you for the opportunity to save lives," she added.
As Davao City mayor, Duterte-Carpio issued an executive order in 2016 establishing the Kean Gabriel Anti-Child Abuse Program. It was named after a three-year-old child who died after being abused by his stepfather.
Her appeal to the people: unite to ensure a peaceful Philippines.
"Magtulungan tayo para sa isang bayan na mapayapa at nagkakaisa. Mahal natin ang Pilipinas. May GOD bless the Philippines. Daghan salamat," the incoming Vice President said.
Marcos, in a separate interview, shared how humbled he is by the thought that 31 million Filipinos voted for him.
"I am humbled because for anyone in public service or in a public life, the most valuable thing you may receive from a fellow citizen is their vote because embedded in that are their hopes and their aspiration for the future. But also embedded in that vote are the trust and the confidence that they give to you to take them to that aspirational future," he said.
Marcos, son and namesake of the late dictator, vowed to do everything he can to bring a better nation to the people.
"I thank our people. And beyond that I promise you that we may not be perfect but we will always strive to perfection. Thank you very much. I congratulate all of those involved in the electoral process - the Comelec, all our teachers, our BEIs, up to the National Board of Canvassers here in Congress for what I can say in my experience the best-run election that we have seen and that it has reflected truly the voice of the people and the choice of the people. So I am inspired by this responsibility that have been given," he said.
He conveyed his main appeal to the people: "I ask you all to pray for me, wish me well. I want to do well, because when the president does well, the country does well and I want to do well for this country."
Marcos and Duterte-Carpio will formally assume their office noon of June 30.