Half a million Pinoys attend Aquino inauguration

Posted at 06/30/10 11:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines -More than half a million yellow-clad Aquino supporters flocked to the Quirino Grandstand in Manila to witness the historic inauguration of President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and Vice-President-elect Jejomar Binay.

Director Roberto Rosales, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, said an estimated 600,000 people attended the inauguration as of 11 a.m.

Before the oath-taking, Aquino fetched outgoing President Gloria Arroyo at Malacañang past 10 a.m. Aquino and Arroyo left Malacañang at 10:26 a.m. in one car and arrived at the fully packed Quirino Grandstand shortly after 10:30 a.m..

Arroyo was given a 21-gun salute at the Rizal Park, signifying the end of her 6-year term as the country's 14th president.

She left on board her personal Lincoln Navigator for Pampanga province where she will be attend her own inaugural rites as second district congressman.

Singing sensation Charice sang the national anthem while the Philippine Madrigal Singers and Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra rendered a version of "Bayan Ko."

Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay is expected to take his oath at 11:40 a.m. to be administered by Associate Justice Conchita Morales-Carpio.

At exactly 12 noon as mandated by the Constitution, the new President will take his oath. Morales-Carpio will also administer Aquino's oath taking.

Manolo Quezon, Aquino III's spokesman for the inauguration team, said Aquino will deliver a short inaugural speech that will last 8 to 10 minutes. "Hindi maborloloy na salita pero mga kongkretong mga programa," he said.

He said Aquino followed the example set by President Ramon Magsaysay who had one of the shortest inaugural speeches in Philippine history.

He said a major portion of Aquino's speech will be in Tagalog.