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All set for Marcos ‘simple, solemn’ inaugural

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
All set for Marcos âsimple, solemnâ inaugural
Motorists crawl in front of the Manila city hall yesterday after the government closed some roads near the National Museum starting on June 26 as part of security preparations for president-elect Ferdinand Marcos’ inauguration on June 30.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Tomorrow’s inauguration of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as the 17th president of the Philippines will be solemn and simple, his camp said in a statement yesterday.

Franz Imperial, one of the heads of the preparation committee for the event, said Marcos’ inauguration is “all set,” except for some minor details that are still being finalized.

“The program we have prepared is very solemn and simple. It would be very traditional, as Bongbong Marcos himself said in his vlog, we will not deviate from the tradition,’” Imperial added.

Actress Toni Gonzaga, a staunch supporter of Marcos, will sing the Philippine National Anthem at the inaugural that will be held at the National Museum in Manila, according to Imperial.

Details for the ecumenical invocation that will follow are still being finalized as of press time.

Imperial also revealed that there would be a 30-minute military-civil parade, after which the inauguration song would follow.

“The inauguration song will be ‘Pilipinas Kong Mahal’ and it will be performed by Cris Villonco and the Young Voices of the Philippines choir,” he said.

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo will administer Marcos’ oath of office.

While the Constitution does not require it, the oath is customarily administered by the Chief Justice.

Imperial noted that Marcos would not be using a teleprompter during his inaugural speech.

The 1987 Constitution mandates the presidential inauguration to take place on June 30, with the president-elect taking his oath of office at exactly noon.

Previously, the presidential inauguration date was Dec. 30, which is also Rizal Day, as per the 1935 Constitution.

The last president who took his oath on a Dec. 30 inauguration was Marcos’ father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., when he assumed his second term in 1969.

CJ to administer oath

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday confirmed that Gesmundo would administer the oath of Marcos as the 17th president of the republic tomorrow.

SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka yesterday confirmed reports that Gesmundo accepted the task of administering the oath of Marcos during his inauguration.

“I do confirm that Chief Justice Gesmundo has been requested to administer the oath of president-elect Marcos on June 30, 2022,” Hosaka said.

Asked if the Chief Justice accepted the role of administering the oath, the SC man replied: “Yes, he did.”

Hosaka further clarified that apart from the task of administering, there are no other preparations being made by the SC or the Chief Justice in connection with the scheduled inauguration.

“The presidential inauguration is the event of the executive branch of the government. Hence, the Supreme Court is not part of the preparations,” Hosaka said.

Marcos earlier said he would abide by traditions followed in an inauguration.

One of the traditions is that the Chief Justice of the high court, the head of the judicial branch of the government, is given the responsibility of administering the oath of the next chief executive.

During the inaugurations of the late former presidents Ramon Magsaysay and Carlos Garcia, these were administered by then chief justice Ricardo Paras while then chief justice Cesar Bengzon administered the oath of the late former presidents Diosdado Macapagal and Marcos Sr.

The late former president Corazon Aquino was sworn into office by then associate justice Claudio Teehankee Sr., who became the chief justice in 1988.

Both former presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada were sworn in by then chief justice Andres Narvasa while former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath before then chief justice Hilario Davide Jr.

The late former president Benigno Simeon Aquino III took his oath before then associate justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.

On June 30, 2016, outgoing President Duterte took his oath before then associate justice Bienvenido Reyes, who was his fraternity brother at Lex Talionis.

Sotto to proclaim  Marcos

Senate President Vicente Sotto III will first proclaim Marcos before the latter is sworn into office.

“I thought my job is done, but it turns out I still have work to do,” Sotto told reporters, referring to the canvassing of votes for president and proclamation by Congress of Marcos as the winner in the May 9 presidential elections.

Sotto said he is expected to read the proclamation at 11:50 a.m. or 10 minutes before Marcos Jr. is sworn into office.

A statement from Marcos’ office said various traditions have arisen that have expanded the inauguration from a simple oath-taking ceremony to a daylong event, including parades, speeches and balls.

Since 1992, the ceremony traditionally began with the president-elect fetching the incumbent at Malacañang in the morning of June 30.

At the state entrance of Malacañang, the president-elect will wait for the incumbent to descend the grand staircase.

Upon meeting at the foot of the staircase, the president-elect will greet the incumbent.

Then both will travel to the Quirino Grandstand aboard any of the presidential cars.

Following protocol, the outgoing president takes the back right-hand seat of the vehicle, while the president-elect is seated behind the chauffeur.

At the grandstand’s parade grounds, the outgoing president will be welcomed with arrival honors, and then shake hands with the president-elect.

The outgoing president conducts a final troop review and is presented to the public before departing the grandstand aboard his private vehicle.

The custom of leaving the grandstand immediately, however, was broken when the elder Aquino and Ramos instead chose to stay until the end of the inaugural ceremonies of their respective successors. – With Evelyn Macairan, Paolo Romero, Pia Lee-Brago, Romina Cabrera, Emmanuel Tupas, Neil Jayson Servallos

Xi sends VP

Chinese President Xi Jinping has tapped Vice President Wang Qishan as his special representative to witness Marcos’ inauguration tomorrow, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced yesterday.

China earlier said it is ready to revive the negotiations on joint oil exploration and development with the Philippines under the Marcos administration.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Friday said the joint offshore oil and gas development is the “right way for China and the Philippines” to manage maritime differences and achieve win-win results without prejudice to either side’s maritime positions and claims.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced during the celebration of the 124th founding anniversary of the Department of Foreign Affairs last Thursday that the oil and gas discussions with China have been “terminated completely” and “everything is over,” more than three years after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development between the Philippines and China in 2018.

Locsin said he carried out Duterte’s instructions to completely terminate the oil and gas discussions with China after the past three years did not yield any achievement to develop oil and gas resources.

Rainy inaugural

Rains can be expected due to the southwest monsoon as Marcos takes his oath tomorrow, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

PAGASA forecast cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms.

A special weather forecast showed that the southwest monsoon would affect Manila and the Greater Metro Manila area.

Still, no tropical cyclone is expected on inauguration day.

Prohibited items

The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday released a list of prohibited items at Marcos’ inauguration tomorrow.

PNP public information officer Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba said that apart from backpacks and big bags, other items that are not allowed are alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, chemicals, fireworks and pyrotechnics, lighters, matches and other combustible items, drones and pointed objects such as cutters, blades and knives.

Alba added that the banned items would be confiscated at the entrance gates to the inauguration venue.

“The ban on these items ensures that no contraband will be brought inside the venue of the inauguration to guarantee the safety of all attendees,” he said in a statement.

The PNP earlier urged people to only bring transparent bags and water containers to speed up the inspection process.

People who want to witness Marcos’ inauguration should expect stricter inspection at the venue.

PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said all vehicles approaching the immediate vicinity leading to the National Museum would undergo thorough inspection.

Danao added that only persons on the guest list with confirmed attendance are allowed access to the premises. Guests, including working staff of the inauguration, will be thoroughly screened upon entry.

The PNP also encouraged people to come at least two hours ahead of the ceremony as the security check may take a few minutes.

Maximum tolerance

Maximum tolerance will be exercised against protesters when Marcos takes his oath tomorrow, according to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

Ano said it’s “all systems go” to secure the event.

He added that they have activated the PNP and its Task Force Manila Shield to ensure a peaceful and orderly conduct of the inauguration.

“We are also taking an extra layer of protection and precaution, especially amid reports that CTGs (communist terrorist groups) are planning to disrupt or muddle the oath-taking ceremony. So, we will not allow these groups to do so, and expect us to do what is necessary to thwart any attempt to embarrass, discredit or sabotage the forthcoming inauguration,” Año said in English and Filipino at a press conference.

Still, the chief of the Department of the Interior and Local Government noted that they have not monitored violent threats that may become serious concerns even as some groups are set to organize protest action.

“It’s more on trying to embarrass or put some shameful acts, but on real threats like violent plans and atrocities, at least, so far, it’s contained and we have’t monitored anything,” he added.

Over 15,000 police officers, soldiers and other law enforcement personnel have been deployed across Metro Manila to secure the event.

Año urged protesters to hold peaceful rallies and not disrupt the event to embarrass the incoming administration.

Rallies may only be held at freedom parks and other protest actions will be dispersed by police officers.

Work suspension

Following the SC’s lead, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) has also suspended work at the first- and second-level courts in Manila today and tomorrow because of the expected gridlock in connection with the Marcos’ inauguration.

OCA deputy court administrator Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino issued OCA Circular 158-2022 addressed to all the first and second level courts in Manila.

Delorino said the circular is based on SC Memorandum Order 91-2022 issued by Gesmundo.

“Considering that the road closure and traffic rerouting plan that will be implemented by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on June 30, 2022 as part of the security measures for the inauguration of president-elect Marcos will affect all roads leading to the courts in the City of Manila, making it inconvenient for the concerned court personnel to report for work, a work suspension is hereby directed in all first and second level courts in the City of Manila on June 29-30, 2022,” Delorino added.

In separate announcements released last Monday, the SC and the Court of Appeals (CA) said work would also be suspended today and tomorrow at the high court, located along Padre Faura Street, and the CA’s Manila station situated along Ma. Orosa Street would be closed because of road closures and traffic rerouting plan.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would be taking advantage of the work-from-home set up as traffic is expected to increase as a result of the road closures near their offices in Manila. – Evelyn Macairan, Paolo Romero, Pia Lee-Brago, Romina Cabrera, Emmanuel Tupas, Neil Jayson Servallos

FERDINAND MARCOS JR.

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