Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The new President, “Noynoy” Aquino, 15th President of the Philippines, took his oath of office at Noon Wednesday, June 30, 2010 (midnight 6-29/30 EDT) at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila in front of the imposing statue of national hero Jose Rizal.
The ceremony began shortly before 11 a.m. with the singing of Lupang Hinirang, the Philippne National Anthem, as the traditional opening. Followed at 11 a.m. by the swearing-in of Vice President Binay before the 12:00 p.m. swearing-in of the President.
The main theme of the President Aquino’s inauguration speech was “Tagumpay ng Taong-bayan, Panata sa Pagbabago” (or, in English: The People’s Victory, An Oath for Change)The new President pledged to end graft, corruption and waste in government and to vigorously prosecute and get reimbursement from those who do.
Aquino did not have an inaugural parade and did not want an expensive inauguration, intending to save “the people’s” money.
Finally, the ceremony closed with everyone present, including the 500-thousand spectators, saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine Flag.
Again, to save money, there was No big inauguration party afterwards. The people were left to celebrate in the street with dancing and singing with a fireworks display at midnight.
All Filipinos eagerly look forward to the future under the Aquino Administration in the hope it will remain corruption-free and begin to bring prosperity back to the country such as it was during the late 1950s to 1960s, before the Marcos’ regime. The country, then, was regarded by the world as the most advanced of all the Asian countries with a strong developing infrastructure and strong economy. The value of their piso (peso) at that time was 2 to the American dollar. It now currently trades at about 45 to a USD.
The Aquino cabinet was announced this past week, before his inauguration, in which all the individuals seem to be strong, honest, and very capable individuals, adding to the anticipated hope and change for the near future. They are as follows:
•Executive Secretary – Paquito Ochoa
•Budget and Management– Florencio “Butch” Abad
•Finance – Cesar V. Purisima
•Justice – Leila L. de Lima
•Defense – Voltaire Gasmin
•Education – Armin A. Luistro
•NEDA – Cayetano Paderanga
•Agriculture – Proceso V. Alcala
•Environment – Ramon Paje
•DoTC – Jose Ping de Jesus
•Labor and Employment – Rosalindo Baldoz
•Health – Dr. Enrique Ona
•Tourism – Alberto Lim
•Trade and Industry – Gregory Domingo
•Social Welfare and Development – Corazon Juliano Soliman
•Energy – Jose Rene Almendras
•Public Works and Highways – Rogelio Singson
•Science and Technology – Dr. Mario Montejo
•Agrarian Reform – Virgilio R. De Los Reyes
•Foreign Affairs – Albert Romulo
•Peace Process – Teresita Quintos Deles
•Presidential Management Staff – Julia R. Abad
•Spokesperson: Edwin Lacierda
•Presidential Legal Counsel: Eduardo V. De Mesa
•Commission on Higher Education: Patricia Licuanan
•Bureau of Internal Revenue – Kim Jacinto Henares
•Armed Forces of the Philippines – Maj. Gen. Ricardo David Jr.
•For the Philippine National Police, (PNP) Aquino said that he will wait until Philippine National Police Director-General Jesus Verzosa retires in December.
Abad at Budget & Management and Romulo at Foreign Affairs were temporally held over from the previous administration as were seven others who had previously broke away from the Arroyo administration disheartened, who Acquino judged to be honest and trustworthy from that administration.
ALL of these cabinet members will serve under President Aquino and they are All expected to perform efficiently for the change and for the good of this country with accountability and transparency in every way as possible.
Meanwhile it was announced that the Office of Press Secretary will be combined into a communications group and Atty. Eduardo De Mesa has been appointed as the Presidential Legal Counsel. He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines. Attorney De Mesa will serve as the one and only legal counsel to President Aquino, unlike many previous presidents who had a number of appointees for the position.
Acquino admitted that he was considering his vice-presidential running mate Manuel Roxas II for a Cabinet Post position after the one-year required ban and also Senator Richard Gordon, who also falls under that ban.
Roxas, by the way, was appointed to head up Aquino’s Transition team, instead of his Vice President Binay as is normally done.