For the first time in Filipino history, the president will make his entire inaugural speech next month in the national lan-guage.
Until now, Philippine politics have been dominated by the language of its Spanish and American colonial rulers.A spokesman for president-elect Joseph Estrada said on Thursday the former movie star's speech on June 30 would be in Filipino.
Estrada won a crushing victory in this month's election, thanks almost entirely to his huge following among the masses who, unlike the country's elite, generally do not use English.
Though he speaks English fluently, Estrada often delights his audiences by mangling the language with such lines as, "I have a pornographic memory."
Press-secretary-designate Rod Reyes said a pool of writers was drafting the inauguration speech to be delivered outside a church north of Manila where the country's first constitution, written in Spanish, was promulgated almost 100 years ago.
Filipino has only in recent years begun to replace English, which was drummed into generations of schoolchildren after the United States colonized the country at the turn of the century.
Meanwhile, Estrada opponents appeared Thursday to have won control of the lower house of parliament, which analysts said could make it harder to push through his proposed reforms.
Outgoing lower house Speaker Jose de Venecia, the defeated presidential candidate of the ruling Lakas party, said 115 Lakas members had clinched the majority of 208 seats in the house.