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Benigno Aquino Inaugurated Philippines President


Benigno Aquino III was sworn in Wednesday as the Philippines' 15th president, leading a Southeast Asian nation his late parents helped liberate from dictatorship and which he promises to deliver from poverty and pervasive corruption.

Mr. Aquino took the oath of office of president of the Philippines before a supreme court justice at a Manila's seaside resort. Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them clad in his yellow campaign color, were in attendance.

Political commentator Amando Doronila, with the Philippines Daily Inquirer says people in the Philippines are optimistic about the new president and the new electronic voting process.

"Moral is high because they have gone through a very unusual election where results were credible and quickly known, unlike in previous elections where it took more than a month to get results," Doronila said.

Speaking in Tagalog, Mr. Aquino promised to fight corruption and he pledged to bring a new era of good governance, reforms and a bureaucracy that will be sensitive to the plight of ordinary people.

The new Philippines president is the son the late former President Corazon Aquino who was revered by many for her role in leading the "people power" revolt that ousted the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

He is replacing Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whose nine-year rule saw failed power grabs and opposition impeachment bids against her because of allegations of vote-rigging, corruption and rights abuses.

Mr. Aquino says he will immediately form an independent commission to investigate corruption allegations against Ms. Arroyo and other scandals under her term.

Doronila says Mr. Aquino needs to live up to his own strong anti-corruption message, by prosecuting past abuse.

"He said in his speech that there can be no reconciliation with justice unless, the credibility of the judicial system is not reestablished," said Doronila.

Ms. Arroyo still enjoys considerable support and won a seat in the House of Representatives in the May 10 election.

The Philippines has been grappling with poverty, corruption, armed conflicts and deep divisions for decades. A third of the population lives on a dollar a day and about 3,000 Filipinos leave daily, for jobs abroad.

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