Aquino to lead Independence Day rites in Iloilo
ILOILO CITY, Philippines—President Aquino will lead Independence Day rites as well as inaugurate and inspect government projects on his visit here on Thursday and Friday.
The President is expected to arrive at 11 a.m. Thursday at Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town. He will then proceed to Barangay (village) Ungka II in Pavia town.
He is scheduled to unveil markers at the junction of the streets named after his parents, President Corazon C. Aquino Avenue and Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue, said Janet Mesa, Western Visayas director of the Philippine Information Agency.
After the unveiling of the markers, the President is scheduled to inaugurate the P93-million Dungon IV Bridge on Diversion Road. He is also expected to inspect the construction of the P747-million Iloilo Convention Center (ICC).
The ICC is being rushed for the hosting by the city of meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
The President will then proceed to visit the P150-million Muelle Loney Bridge connecting Muelle Loney Street Lapuz where the pier for ferry boats plying between Iloilo and Bacolod City is located.
He will also drop by the restored old Iloilo provincial capitol where he will unveil a marker and speak in a brief ceremony. The President will stay overnight in the city for the early morning ceremonies the next day.
On Friday, the President will lead the 117th Philippine Independence Day commemoration at 8 a.m. in the historic town of Sta. Barbara, 17 kilometers west of Iloilo City.
Filipino revolutionaries raised the Philippine flag in Sta. Barbara on Nov. 17, 1898, the first time the flag was raised outside of Luzon.
After the flag-raising ceremony, the President will proceed to the old Iloilo provincial capitol for the traditional vin d’honneur ceremony.
Hundreds of members of the diplomatic corps, legislators and other officials, and business and civic leaders are expected to attend the cocktail ceremony at the session hall of the Capitol.
At least 91 ambassadors confirmed their attendance at Friday’s events as of Wednesday afternoon. They were expected to arrive in two batches starting Thursday, according to Mesa.
The Department of Tourism and the Department of Foreign Affairs will host the members of the diplomatic corps who are expected to join tours in the city.
Security has been tightened for the events and major streets in the city and those leading to Sta. Barbara will be closed during the ceremonies.
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