Aguirre: Duterte 'might' attend Congress proclamation

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President-elect Rodrigo Duterte asks for more time to resolve the issue on terror group Abu Sayyaf. (file photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Rodrigo Duterte might show up after all for his proclamation as the country’s new president once the National Board of Canvassers completes the ongoing official canvass of the results of the May 9 elections, his lawyer said Friday.

The partial, official results show the tough-talking mayor of Davao City heading to a landslide victory.

Duterte has told reporters in Davao he will not attend his proclamation as the country’s new president.

But his lawyer, Vitaliano Aguirre, who represents Duterte's PDP-Laban party in the canvass proceedings, said the maverick leader may be saying one thing but meaning another.

"He said he will not attend diba [didn’t he]? I believe he will attend. Sabi naman niya 'wag siyang paniwalaan kapag improbable sinasabi niya [He did say not to believe him when he says something improbable]," Aguirre said.

Aguirre said the proclamation needs the attendance of the president-elect.

Aguirre, Duterte’s choice for justice secretary, said he personally thinks the incoming president should attend the proclamation to follow the constitutional process.

He also said Duterte will wait for the canvass to be completed, disassociating the PDP-Laban party from incoming presidential spokesperson Sal Panelo's call for an early proclamation of the incoming president.

Panelo has asked the four other presidential candidates — Jejomar Binay, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Grace Poe, and Mar Roxas — to sign a waiver surrendering their right to participate in the canvassing of the presidential votes in order to speed up the process in order to have an early proclamation of the president-elect.

Aguirre said that the constitution does not have a provision allowing the proclamation of a presidential candidate in case all other candidates concede.