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Indoor Marcos inaugural eyed in case of rain

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
Indoor Marcos inaugural eyed in case of rain
Handout photo shows President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaking at a media conference in his Mandaluyong City headquarters in June 2022.
Marcos media bureau / screenshot

MANILA, Philippines — Today’s inauguration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the 17th president of the republic may be held indoors at the National Museum of Fine Arts in case of rain due to Tropical Depression Caloy.

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

PAGASA said the southwest monsoon would affect the Greater Manila area Thursday, bringing cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms and generally light to moderate winds blowing from the southwest.

Temperatures in Metro Manila will range from 24 to 31 degrees Celsius today.

Speaking to reporters after the last day of rehearsals before noon yesterday, Franz Imperial, the Marcos camp’s events director, said they are “preparing a plan B” in case of inclement weather.

The second plan is that the inauguration may be held “most likely indoors” at the old Senate session hall, Imperial said.

The hall houses the National Museum’s gallery of National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s series of paintings called “Filipino Struggles Through History.”

“We’re discussing it. Nonetheless, the (noontime oath taking) should happen,” Imperial said.

He reiterated that the inauguration would be “a very simple, traditional program, as the president (-elect) requested himself.”

“We’re not adding too much elements to it,” Imperial said. “It’s 95 percent there, as you can see, just some minor tweaking.”

There will be around eight minutes of a civil military parade showcasing the country’s military, police and coast guard assets such as boats, tanks and police mobiles. It will be capped by a fly-by of the country’s air assets.

Representatives of labor, migrant, youth sectors will also join the parade.

Meanwhile, supporters and loyalists who may be drenched by rain will be given ponchos at the golf course in front of the stage, where they will be allowed to witness the event, according to Imperial.

He said LED screens will remain operational for the crowd in case of inclement weather.

MPD checkpoints

Amid these developments, dozens of police checkpoints have been activated to secure Marcos’ inauguration, according to the Manila Police District (MPD).

In a dzBB interview last Tuesday, MPD Director Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco said 18 police checkpoints have been activated in the city limits.

Another 13 critical points have been also activated in the vicinity of the National Museum of Fine Arts.

“These will be activated until the end of the inauguration,” Francisco said.

The MPD official reminded supporters who would be attending the inauguration to bring transparent bags and clear water bottles.

They are also reminded to comply with minimum health protocols during the ceremony.

Firearms, explosives, bladed weapons, alcoholic beverages, even balloons, drones and pet animals are prohibited during the event, the MPD said in a Facebook post.

Those who will join today’s event can enter the venue through Victoria Street from LRT-1 Central station and through General Luna street from Intramuros, the MPD added.

PCG ships

Aside from 500 of its personnel, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will also deploy three of its ships to boost the security at the inauguration.

In a statement, the PCG announced that its three multi-role response vessels, along with their other floating assets, would be conducting sea patrol along Pasig River and Manila Bay.  – Romina Cabrera, Emmanuel Tupas, Evelyn Macairan, Mayen Jaymalin, Sheila Crisostomo

FERDINAND MARCOS JR.

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