PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, administered the oath of office to Cagayan de Oro City elected officials, a first for any president.
It was Duterte who promised his close friend, councilor-elect Joyleen Mercedes "Girlie" Balaba, that he will administer her oath of office if she wins in the May 2019 elections.
Duterte kept his promise and arrived on Wednesday evening at Xavier Estates Sports Country Club to swear in not only Balaba but also all of Cagayan de Oro elected officials.
Balaba, in an interview, said Duterte volunteered to administer her oath during the campaign period.
"This is historic sa Cagayan de Oro kay this will be the first time for the President to swear in local elected officials outside of Malacañan, and on the part of CDO, this will be the first time for a President mag oath taking sa local officials sa Cagayan de Oro," Balaba said.
Balaba said it was also President Duterte who arranged the date on June 12, since he is scheduled to visit Malabang, Lanao del Sur for the Independence Day rites.
"Indication ni siya nga duol ang atong national government sa Cagayan de Oro city," she added.
City Mayor Oscar Moreno, who was once tagged by his opposition as the "most-anti-Duterte mayor", said they felt lucky "knowing how many local officials who would want their oath to be administered by the President".
Moreno, however, said the scheduled oath taking on June 30 is still a go, with former Senate President Nene Pimentel as the guest speaker.
"I really wish that kay ang first 2 terms nako it was Senate President Nene Pimentel who administered the oath," he said.
Meanwhile, only 11 out of the 13 administration councilors were present during the oath taking ceremony.
City Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya did not make it, saying he had to attend a meeting on Wednesday evening.
City Councilor Zaldy Ocon also did not attend, and was noticeably absent too during the city's Independence day events.
Duterte, along with senator-elect Bong Go arrived at the venue around 8:20 p.m. evening and immediately swore in the city officials. After the oath taking, he granted the city officials with their family a photo opportunity.