Pictures of preparations for the inauguration of the 17th president in the National Museum of Fine Arts were perceived to resemble military parades on authoritarian or totalitarian states.
News outlets on Monday released images of the rehearsal conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine National Police Academy and the Philippine Military Academy.
A video of the practice was also released to the public.
The preparations were for the 30-minute civic and military parade that will be held from Manila’s Maria Orosa Street to the National Museum.
It will include a parade of security vehicles and assets such as mobiles, trucks and tanks, which will be deployed on president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr‘s oathtaking on June 30.
Reports said that there will also be thousands of cops to be deployed on the inauguration site.
In addition, steel barriers will be put in place while a “no-fly zone” will be implemented for the one-kilometer radius of the event. Signal jammers would also be possibly used.
Despite this, Marcos’ camp said his oath-taking would be “very solemn and simple.” It would also be “very traditional.”
Various tarpaulins and banners declaring the president-elect’s inauguration have also been spotted in different parts of the metro, a move that some claimed had not been done in past presidential oath-takings.
Meanwhile, some Filipinos likened the show of military force in the parade rehearsals to images seen in totalitarian states like North Korea, or authoritarian ones like China.
“NoKor feels ah,” a Facebook user said, referring to North Korea’s shorter name.
“Ano ‘yan, under military rules, parang North Korea ha,” another online user commented.
“Sa China ba ito?” a Filipino from Twitter wrote.
“I initially thought this was a military procession of C/*i+a,” another Twitter user commented, referring to China.
Others asked if there was a “war” they did not know of.
“May giyera ba sa Pinas…?” a Facebook user wrote.
“Me KALABAN ba, me kalaban,” commented another Filipino.
Som Filipinos said that the show of force should be directed toward aggressors in the West Philippine Sea, particularly Chinese vessels usually spotted in the territory.
“Dapat sa West Philippine Sea pinapakita ang lakas,” a Facebook user said.
Marcos will be sworn into office by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo at noon on Thursday.
It was said that traditionally, the president-elect and outgoing president would meet at Malacañang before the main event.
They will then proceed to the inauguration venue in one of the presidential vehicles.
In the buildup of the oathtaking, reports said that the national anthem would be sung. This will be followed by the ecumenical invocation to be led by religious leaders.
Reelected Sen. Miguel Zubiri, eyed as the next senate president, will read the joint resolution of the National Board of Canvassers-Joint Congressional Canvassing Committee to proclaim the new president and vice president.
Marcos will then take his oath before Gesmundo at noon.
A 21-gun salute will be fired before Marcos delivers his inaugural speech.
Afterwhich, the civic and military parade will take place to celebrate the oathtaking. This will be followed by a performance of an inaugural song.
Marcos will then proceed to Malacañang to take residence, induct the members of his Cabinet and hold their first meeting.
This will be followed by a reception for government officials and foreign dignitaries.