MANILA -- Ferdinand E. Marcos, his country's most decorated war hero, was sworn in today as sixth President of the Philippines before a cheering mass of 500,000 persons including Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.
Humphrey, representing President Johnson, sat in a special grandstand with diplomatic envoys from 30 other nations and listened as Marcos declared war on lawlessness and corruption.
Marcos, 48, holder of 27 World War II decorations including the U.S. Distinguished Service cross, succeeds Diosdado Macapagal as chief executive of America's staunch ally in Asia.
He was interrupted repeatedly by cheers from the vast throng in Luncta Park in downtown Manila during a gloves-off inaugural speech. Marcos declared corrupt public officials and rich Filipinos who flaunt their wealth while the vast majority lives in poverty had created a crisis in the country.
Wearing a barong taglog (formal Filipino national shirt), Marcos declared: "We must rise from the ignominy of repeated failure. Unless we adopt severe measures of self-denial there will be no hope for recovery."
Marcos was sworn in with vice president Fernando Lopez following a traditional military parade through sun-splashed streets.
He will begin his first working day as President Friday with a private meeting at Malacanag Palace with Humphrey, making a five-day "swing for peace" mission at Johnson's request. The two were to review world issues, particularly Viet Nam, in which the United States wants broader participation from the Philippines.