MANILA, Philippines - President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s transition team has already ironed out kinks in the inauguration on June 30, an event that will be made meaningful by several traditions shelved during the Martial Law years.
The inauguration, which will revolve around the theme “Tagumpay ng Taumbayan, Panata sa Pagbabago,” is expected to be observed by millions around the world.
The schedule below was obtained from Aquino’s camp:
6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. - prayer services at the Aquino home in Times Street
8:30 - assembly, although people are already expected to camp out the night before
9:30 - arrival of guests
9:45 - Aquino departs for Malacañang
10:00 - officials and guests expected to arrive at Quirino Grandstand
10:20 - arrival of Dr. Elenita Binay, wife of Vice-President elect Jejomar Binay
10:25 - arrival of Aquino’s sisters
10:30 - Aquino arrives in Malacañang
10:30 - at the same time, Binay is expected to arrive at Quirino Grandstand
10:40 - Aquino and predecessor, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyom, leaves Malacanang aboard car No. 1
10:45 - Arroyo and Aquino arrive at Quirino Grandstand
10:50 - military honors for Arroyo
10:55 - Arroyo leaves area
The formal inaugural ceremony is expected to start at exactly 11:00 a.m. with the singing of the national anthem.
11:15 - Musical ensemble led by APO Hiking Society and other artists such as Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Noel Cabangon, Gary Valenciano, etc.
11:35 - Senate President reads results of proclamation in elections
11:40 - Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales administers oath to Binay
12:00 noon - Aquino finally takes oath
12:10 - inaugural address
12:30 - pledge of allegiance from the public, honors for Aquino (people will take their oath to the president and state what they will do for the country)
At around 1:00 p.m., Aquino will finally head to Malacañang
1:15 p.m - Lunch at the Kalayaan Hall
2:30 - Oath-taking of local officials, mass oath-taking of Cabinet
officials at Rizal Hall
3:30 - 1st Cabinet meeting, Aguinaldo State Dining Hall [photo op only]
6:00 - Inaugural reception at the Rizal Hall
7:30 - Short speech and inaugural toast
8:00 - personal time
9:00 - Aquino leaves for the party in Quezon City
Inauguration spokesman Manuel “Manolo” L. Quezon III earlier said “the president-elect is not much of a traditionalist, but you realize that these rituals exist to make the transition more dignified for all concerned and you’re dealing with an office larger than any person.”
The inauguration will be a symbol of sorts, as this would be peppered with traditions that were abolished or replaced during former President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ time. The Aquino family was instrumental in overthrowing the dictatorship.
Quezon said the president-elect will fetch Arroyo in Malacañang in time for the inauguration scheduled at noon on June 30.
He said this meeting will not be a tea party for both leaders, unlike that in the United States. Even former US President Dwight Eisenhower did away with this American tradition, he said.
He noted the schedule is too tight such that there will be no more time for chit-chats. “It’s unnecessary because by tradition, it’s the day of the new administration,” he said.
While Arroyo’s camp may want more “face-time” for her, he said the event will not have any additional fringes. He believes Arroyo understands all these since she herself went through the process three times: when her father Diosdado became Vice-President then later President, and the subsequent transfer of administration.
Instead, Arroyo will get to be honored by the Armed Forces of the Philippines upon arriving at the venue. She will then exit “gracefully” while her successor moves up the stage.
Corona in the audience?
Quezon said the inclusion of important persons in the guest list is part of protocol. As such, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona will be invited even if he will not administer Aquino’s oath, he said.
Apart from the Chief Justice, also expected to attend are the children of former Presidents.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will also be doing an important role, he said.
He will read the formal proclamation of Aquino as president right before the oath-taking. “They just approved [the proclamation last June 9], they did not read [the contents],” Quezon said.
He said this tradition had been scrapped due to obvious reasons--Marcos had abolished Congress.
Quezon said the Aquino family is still discussing who will hold the bible during the oath-taking. He only divulged “someone very close to the family will hold the bible.”
No Vin d’ Honneur
He also clarified the socials in Malacañang after Arroyo’s first Cabinet meeting should not be called Vin d’ Honneur.
Such events almost always took place during the Marcos’ years. He said it should be called an “inaugural reception.”
Quezon said “to make it clear to everyone…everything must come to an end and there’s a new beginning.”
He said all these rituals exist “to show both continuity of our government and, at the same time, there are parts that are fixed, and whether you like it or not, things change.”