Disorder, Chanting Mark Marcos’ Inauguration With PM-Philippines, Bjt
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Chanting supporters and a sense of confusion surrounded Ferdinand E. Marcos as he took the oath of office today in the presidential palace.
Hands holding small red, white and blue paper flags went up and swayed back and forth with cheers and the strains of a lively march as Marcos entered the room.
The ceremonies came about two hours after Corazon Aquino took a similar oath at a country club on the fourth day of a revolution against Marcos. She was supported by high-ranking military officers who abandoned Marcos.
The festive mood immediately shifted to one of disorderliness, with shouts in Tagalog of ″sit down, sit down″ as people stood on velvet-covered benches to get a view of the oath-taking, Marcos’ fourth in 20 years of power. Plastic cups littered the carpeted hall.
Previous inaugurals in 1965, 1969 and 1981 had been grand shows held in Manila’s sprawling Luneta park with all government officials and world dignitaries and diplomats on the grandstand.
This time, Marcos did not invite any diplomats. Some said they would not come because of accusations he cheated in the Feb. 7 election.
″Events have brought our democracy to a new kind of testing,″ Marcos said. ″I say to you, as I say to everybody else, that we will overcome.″
But Filipinos outside did not hear what Marcos said because the television relay from his palace was cut just as the ceremonies were about to begin. The government blamed the signal cut on rebels.
Missing from the ceremonies were most members of his Cabinet, Prime Minister Cesar Virata, and Arturo Tolentino, the man who was supposed to be sworn in as his vice president.
Tolentino’s name was not mentioned during the ceremonies and Agrarian Reform Minister Conrado Estrella, when asked about Tolentino’s absence by a reporter, said, ″That’s what I want to know also.″
On the lawns of the presidential Malacanang Palace, sat nine armored personnel carriers and tanks, the engines of some running, and hundreds of soldiers carrying automatic M-16 rifles.
Marcos, 68, wore a formal white shirt while his son, Bongbong, 27, and grandson, Borgy, 3, were in military fatigues. Wife Imelda, 56, and daughters Imee, 30, and Irene, 25, wore white formal gowns.
Most of the 500 people in the Malacanang Palace ceremonial hall were in casual attire. The Marcoses usually require strictly formal wear for palace functions.
As Marcos entered the hall, people stood, waved paper Philippine flags passed out before the ceremonies and chanted ″Marcos, Marcos.″
Later a crowd of several thousand on the palace lawn chanted, ″We want Marcos.″ Then, as he appeared and spoke to them from a balcony, they chorused ″martial law, martial law″ and ″catch the snakes,″ an apparent reference to people who had defected from his government to join Mrs. Aquino’s revolution.
About 1,000 men remained on the palace grounds, some joining in a the praying of the Catholic Rosary, as the others conducted marching drills. They said they were volunteering to help protect Marcos in his embattled hour.