MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has declared President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's inauguration on June 30 (Wednesday) a special non-working holiday, a Malacañang official announced Thursday.
Presidential Management Staff chief Elena Bautista-Horn said presidential spokesperson Ricardo Saludo will issue a statement about the holiday declaration.
The inauguration of Aquino, the 15th Philippine president, at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park (formerly Luneta) in Manila is expected to be simple, but star-studded.
Aquino is slated to fetch Arroyo from Malacañang. When they arrive at the Quirino Grandstand, Arroyo will be given arrival honors.
The 2 presidents will shake hands and then Arroyo will make her exit.
According to inaugural spokesperson Manolo Quezon, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Prospero Nograles will read the proclamation.
Vice President-elect Jejomar “Jojo” Binay will then take his oath, followed by Aquino.
A 21-gun salute to the new commander-in-chief will follow and then he will deliver his inaugural address.
At this point, there will be a slight break in tradition because inaugural committee co-chair Maria Montelibano said this was a people’s campaign and Aquino is the people’s president.
“Panata ng taong bayan... ‘Di lang dapat ang pangulo ang mag-o-oath taking,” said Montelibano.
The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and the Madrigal Singers will perform “Bayan Ko.”
After the inauguration, a Cabinet meeting and an inaugural reception are scheduled at the Palace.
At night, a street party will be held at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
Various groups and sectors will even get a chance for a photo-opportunity with Aquino and Binay.
“Alam mo naman ang Pilipino, mahilig sa kodakan,” commented Montelibano.
Montelibano, meanwhile, promised that the program will also be star-studded. She said concert artists Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and even the disbanded Apo Hiking Society will do a reprise.
She added that Aquino might just have a surprise number: “Baka mag-song and dance siya.” -- with reports from Pia Hontiveros, ABS-CBN News and ANC