Benigno Aquino III Sworn in as Philippine President

The Philippines welcomed its new president on Wednesday, as Benigno Simeon “Nonoy” Aquino III was sworn in at the Quirino Grandstand with more than 500,000 people and foreign dignitaries bearing witness to the historic event.

Aquino is the 15th president of the country and succeeds Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who ran and won as a representative in her home province of Pampanga in this year’s elections. Aquino will serve for one six-year term. The country’s constitution limits the president to a single term.

In his inaugural speech, Aquino reiterated his campaign promise of ending government corruption, which he considers the root cause of poverty in the country. He also vowed to go after corrupt officials, including his predecessor, who is accused of various wrongdoings perpetrated during her nine years in power.

Aquino, a 50-year-old bachelor, is the son of democracy icon and former President Corazon Aquino and former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., whose assassination in 1983 ignited the 1986 revolution that ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Aquino scored a landslide victory despite deciding to run only six months before elections. Aquino, a three-term congressman and one-term senator, joined the presidential race in September to answer  a strong public clamor following the death of his mother in August last year.