Observations about President Rodrigo Duterte‘s body language during the photo session at his daughter’s inauguration ceremony made buzz on social media.
Vice president-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio was sworn in as the 15th vice president on June 19, eleven days before the term of incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo ends.
The ceremony was held at the San Pedro Square in Davao City and was attended by her father, her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman and the Marcos family, including her running mate in the 2022 elections.
Her mentor, Pampanga representative-elect Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, was also present at the inauguration rites.
While Duterte-Carpio’s inauguration was earlier than the expected date, she will assume vice-presidential duties on the noon of June 30, the Constitutional end of the term of the incumbents.
She took her oath before Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando, her former professor, while Zimmerman held the Bible used for the ceremony.
Duterte’s father, on the other hand, served as witness.
The vice president-elect said she wanted to conduct her inauguration before June 30 to let her fellow Davaoeños witness it and for her to attend president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr‘s inauguration in Manila in person.
For the ceremony, Duterte-Carpio wore a green gown designed by Silverio Anglacer, who similarly created the gown she wore during her father’s oathtaking.
After her inauguration, Duterte-Carpio hugged her father which elicited cheers from the crowd.
The show of affection was unexpected since Duterte-Carpio reportedly said she had not spoken with the president for almost a year.
Despite this, the president wished his daughter luck in her pending new role as the 15th vice president.
Meanwhile, Marcos Jr and his family also entered the scene during the picture-taking and posed with the vice president-elect and her parents.
The Dutertes were accompanied by the president-elect, lawyer Liza Araneta-Marcos, Ilocos Norte representative-elect Sandro Marcos and Sen. Imee Marcos.
While everyone was in smiles, the president continued to have a somber expression onstage. This went on until the Marcoses went towards his daughter, but not before Duterte shook hands with his successor and the latter’s wife.
The president then kept his distance until he was directly approached by Imee, who he regarded with a smile.
The moment can be seen starting at the 1:11:00-mark of the inauguration video shared by the Radio Television Malacañang on Facebook.
A clip of this was also uploaded by a Twitter user who noticed Duterte’s body language and facial expression.
The user claimed that it appeared that the president did not want to talk to the Marcoses.
BAKIT PARANG AYAW NI RODRIGO KAUSAPIN ANG MGA MARCOS HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA pic.twitter.com/rxHyU7NzHf
— ALTStarMagic | Angat Buhay (@AltStarMagic) June 19, 2022
Others had similar observations.
“Imee literally had to grab Gongdi’s (Digong) arm just to make him face her when he’s clearly avoiding them,” an online user claimed.
“What’s the tea??? Bakit inaakap lahat ni VP except si Father??? Father’s Day pa naman. Exciting ito. Popcorn please!” quipped another Filipino.
ABS-CBN journalist Lynda Jumilla-Abalos also shared a photo taken by George Calvelo, which showed Duterte distancing himself while the Marcoses and Zimmerman gathered around his daughter.
“Photo of the day,” she tweeted. Her post has gained 11,700 likes as of this writing.
Photo of the day pic.twitter.com/zKa4WqcXyi
— Lynda Jumilla-Abalos (@lyndajumilla) June 19, 2022
A Twitter user responded to Jumilla-Abalos by sharing the link of the viral clip with the comment, “Probably this is the video of the day.”
Duterte also appeared as if he was “socially distancing” from the immediate family during photo ops before he was asked to go nearer.
A month after the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy for the 2022 elections, Duterte called Marcos Jr a “weak leader” and said that the latter was a “spoiled child” who has “baggage.”
Marcos Jr responded by saying that it was only “plain politics.”
“I think one of the things we have learned about PRRD is he likes to keep everyone on their toes,” he said last April, referring to Duterte’s initials.
“He’s making sure everybody is thinking hard about what they’re doing. And I think that was one of those instances,” Marcos Jr said.
But by the month of the elections, Duterte’s adviser on political affairs claimed that the president had “indirectly” endorsed his daughter’s running mate.
“We can probably surmise that—you cannot detach the fact that the PDP-Laban has endorsed [Marcos] and at the same time, the president is the chairman of PDP-Laban,” presidential adviser Jacinto Paras said before.
She was known to be at the “forefront of the Yellow Friday Movement of Davao, which helped fan the February EDSA Revolution that pushed former president Cory Aquino to power.”
The Yellow Friday Movement was a Mindanao-grown initiative that opposed Marcos Sr’s administration in the 1970s to ’80s.
Known to many as “Nanay Soling,” Soledad was remembered as the moving force during the early years of women’s organizing in the province, which dated back to the Martial Law years.
In recognition of her role in the anti-dictatorship movement, Aquino asked her to become an officer-in-charge vice mayor of Davao City.
However, Soledad, who was 70 then, suggested that the role should be given to her eldest son, Rodrigo, instead.