MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines’ new vice president Leni Robredo was sworn into office Thursday with a promise to bring prosperity to Filipinos on the fringes of society.
The 52-year-old neophyte politician who defeated the son and namesake of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a close vice presidential race and who ran under a different party from President-elect Rodrigo Duterte took her oath as the country’s 14th vice president.
Two village leaders, including the chairman of the poorest village in her home district in eastern Camarines Sur province, administered the oath at the new office of the vice president in suburban Quezon City.
Her inauguration comes hours before Duterte is sworn into office as the Philippines’ 16th president at the presidential palace Malacanang. Their inauguration in separate sites is a departure from tradition. Duterte has chosen to have a separate ceremony, has not met with Robredo since the May 9 election and not appointed her to a Cabinet post.
Robredo said her work will focus on hunger, universal health care, rural development and education. She said she plans to travel to take her office to the country’s smallest villages.