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Duterte administers oath to Senate allies

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday administered the oath of office to his allies in the Senate except for Aquilino Pimentel III and his former top aide, Christopher “Bong” Go.

Those who took their oath before Duterte in Malacañang were Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano, Sonny Angara, Francis Tolentino, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and Imee Marcos.

All of them were backed by Sara Duterte-led Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional party and won in the May midterm elections.

They were joined by their respective families during the ceremony.

Go, who attended the event, earlier said he would take his oath before the President on July 1.

Some analysts said a Senate majority for Duterte would make the institution less independent and easier for the government to pass controversial proposals, including federalism and restoring the death penalty. Both proposals failed to take off during Duterte's first three years in office.

But presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said last month that the Senate has never been a rubber stamp of Malacañang.

Panelo said the Palace expects the new Senate allies of the President to be independent and to speak against the government's policies if necessary.  — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News