Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan will attend the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday at the National Museum grounds, the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Chinese News Agency said Wang will serve as the “special representative” of Chinese President Xi Jinping during Marcos’ oath-taking. No further details about Wang’s attendance were provided.
The Chinese announcement comes a day after the United States announced that the husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris, Douglas Emhoff, will represent President Joe Biden and lead the American delegation to the inauguration.
Apart from Emhoff and Wang, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will attend the rites on behalf of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Other senior foreign dignitaries are expected to confirm their attendance as well.
The inauguration of Marcos Jr. on June 30 will be solemn and simple, one of the organizers said Tuesday.
In a statement, Franz Imperial, who is one of the heads of the preparation committee, said that except for some minor details that are still being finalized, the program is all set.
“The program we have prepared is very solemn and simple. It would be very traditional because as BBM said in his vlog, ‘we will not deviate from tradition,’” Imperial said, using the initials by which Marcos is called.
The inauguration of the President of the Republic of the Philippines is a ceremonial event marking the start of a six-year term for a new chief executive.
The 1987 Constitution mandates the presidential inauguration to occur on June 30, with the President-elect taking his oath of office at exactly noon.
Imperial said the inauguration, to be held at the National Museum, will start with actress Toni Gonzaga singing the National Anthem.
He added details for the ecumenical invocation that will follow are still being finalized.
There will also be a 30-minute military-civil parade, after which the inauguration song “Pilipinas Kong Mahal” will be performed by Cris Villonco and the Young Voices of the Philippines choir, he said.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo will administer the oath of office.
Imperial said Marcos will not be using a teleprompter for his inaugural speech.
Over the years, various traditions have arisen that have expanded the inauguration from a simple oath-taking ceremony to a day-long event, including parades, speeches, and balls.
Since 1992, the ceremony traditionally begins with the president-elect fetching the incumbent in Malacanang Palace on the morning of June 30.
At the Palace’s State Entrance, the president-elect will wait for the incumbent to descend the grand staircase.
Upon meeting at the foot of the staircase, the president-elect would greet the incumbent. Then both would travel to the Quirino Grandstand aboard any of the presidential cars.
Following protocol, the outgoing president takes the back right-hand seat of the vehicle, while the president-elect is seated behind the chauffeur.
But Marcos’s inauguration will be held at the National Museum instead, since the Quirino Grandstand was not readily available for the preparations needed due to the COVID isolation facilities erected on its grounds.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday declared that all security systems are in place for the inauguration.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said at a briefing at Camp Crame that all hands are on deck in terms of logistical and security preparations two days before the inauguration.
“We have prepared for this and we will execute all protocols as planned for the success of this historic occasion,” Año said.
“With only two days before the inauguration, the sub-committee on security, traffic and communication (SCSTC), chaired by the DILG, proudly declares that we are all systems go in terms of security preparations,” he added.
Año said that the SCSTC has been preparing a month ago to ensure the successful staging of Marcos’s inauguration as the 17th President of the Philippines.
He said that SCSTC member-agencies such as the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have all been working closely for the event.
To fortify the inner and outer layers of the venue, Año said the PNP activated its Task Force Manila Shield deploying more than 18,000 police officers, soldiers, coast guard personnel, and other force multipliers who will be on standby forces across Metro Manila.
He said that checkpoints and chokepoints will also be set up in all the entry points to Manila starting today, June 28, and a gun ban has been imposed in Metro Manila starting yesterday which will be in full effect until July 2.
The MMDA has also closed main roads around the National Museum such as Padre Burgos Avenue, Finance Road, Mendiola Street, Ayala Boulevard, Legarda Street, and Recto Avenue, to give way to the inauguration.
The Manila Police District said protesters who become unruly during the inauguration will be arrested.
Año said both anti- and pro-Marcos rallies should only be conducted at designated freedom parks.