Marcos takes oath as 17th Philippine president


MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:56 p.m.) — Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. was sworn in as the country’s 17th president, completing his clan’s comeback to political power and the presidential palace, 36 years after his father was ousted in the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Marcos won the national elections in May by a landslide and with over 31 million votes. He ran on a vague platform to bring unity to Filipinos.

The 64-year-old Marcos took his oath of office before Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo at the National Museum in Manila. Before that, he went to Malacañan and met his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte, whose term was marked by a bloody "drug war" and a devastating pandemic.

Duterte had not endorsed Marcos but has since called on Filipinos to support the new administration. 

"Ako si Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. ay taimtim na nanunumpa na tutuparin ko nang buong katapan at sigasig ang aking mga tungkulin bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas at ipagtatanggol ang kanyang Konstitution, ipatutupad ang batas nito, magiging makatarunagan sa bawat tao at itatalaga ang bawat sarili sa paglilingkod sa bansa. Kasiyahan nawa ako ng Diyos," Marcos said. 

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr takes his oath as the 17th president of the Philippines at The National Museum of Fine Arts on June 30, 2022.
Philstar.com / EC Toledo

(I, Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as the president of the Philippines, defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the nation. So help me God.)

With Marcos as he took his oath were his wife Liza, and sons Sandro, Simon and Vincent. Sandro is congressman of Ilocos Norte, the position his father was elected to when he returned from exile abroad in 1992.

The inauguration comes days after the Supreme Court junked the disqualification and cancellation of certificate of candidacy cases against Marcos. 

He was swept to power with the help of a massive social media campaign and with the backing of the country's biggest political clans. 

His camp earlier said the event would be "traditional, solemn, and simple." A civic-military parade joined by the country’s armed forces, police, health workers, farmers, and transport workers was featured in the event. Celebrity Toni Gonzaga, a supporter of Marcos, sang the national anthem

Unity message remains

In a speech delivered in front of government officials, foreign dignitaries, and supporters clad in red, Marcos once again emphasized the central theme of his presidential campaign—unity.

“The people have spoken and it is resounding. When my call for unity started to resonate with you, it did so because it echoed your yearnings, mirrored your sentiments, and expressed your hopes for family, for country, and for a better future,” he said. 

Marcos said his team is currently drawing up “comprehensive” plans for economic transformation and infrastructure development. 

He cited issues related to food security, energy supply, shortcomings in the government’s pandemic response and the healthcare system. The president also urged changes in lessons taught to students, but he was quick to dismiss revisionist proposals. 

Marcos did not forget to praise his father whose two-decade rule was marked by human rights abuses and corruption. 

“I once knew a man who saw what little had been achieved since independence in a land of people with greatest potential for achievement and yet they were poor. But he got it done, sometimes with the needed support, sometimes without,” the chief executive said.

“So will it be with his son. You will get no excuses from me,” he added. 

As he concluded his speech, Marcos urged Filipinos to not be afraid because they will not be disappointed. 

“With every difficult decision that I must make, I will keep foremost in my mind the debt of gratitude for the honor and responsibility that you have conferred in me.” — with report from Agence France-Presse

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