Filipinos in yellow shirts troop Quirino Grandstand

June 30, 2010 12:24 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, June 30 — Filipinos from all walks of life wearing yellow t-shirts trooped as early as 5 a.m. to the Quirino Grandstand despite the earlier rains to witness the inauguration of 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Guests, including incumbent and incoming officials and foreign dignitaries, started arriving around 9 a.m.

Quezon Rep. Lorenzo "Erin" Tanada III, who was reported to become the majority leader of the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress; singer Jim Paredes, Maria Montelibano, Manuel Quezon III, Father Arnold Abelardo, and Mikee Cojuangco were seen.

Incoming Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was the first member of the Aquino Cabinet to arrive at the Quirino Grandstand.

Former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada, and Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. came shortly after 9:00 a.m.

President-elect Aquino is expected to arrive at 10:45 a.m. with outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who will leave the venue and will go direct to Pampanga where she won as congresswoman in the province's second district, after the military gives her a 21-gun salute, their final honors for the outgoing chief executive.

The pre-inauguration program, which started shortly before 9 a.m. to the cheers of the yellow-clad crowd, began with celebrities Jim Paredes and Juana Change hosting the event.

Binay's guests arrived on board a coaster.

While waiting for the inauguration to formally start, Paredes and May Paner entertained the crowd by interviewing some people on stage. Folk singer Noel Cabangon also sang.

Maria Fe Policarpio, a 54-year-old mother of three, said she was at the venue as early as 5 a.m. to have a glimpse of the incoming President, whom she voted for in the May elections.

"Simula pa kay Cory (former President Corazon Aquino) saka sa asawa niyang namatay, hanggang ngayon suporta kami (Even from the time of Cory and her late husband, until now, we are supporters)," said Policarpio, who resides in Quezon City.

Policarpio is part of a group of volunteers named "Kabataan Kontra Korupsyon." She said she also voted for Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay, who will also take his oath with Aquino before Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.

She said she did not care if the rains resume during the inauguration program, saying she and her three kids came armed with umbrellas.

Aquino is the only son of the late former president Corazon Aquino and martyred senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. (PNA)

V3/LGI

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