Benigno Aquino III proclaimed Philippines' next President by Congress

20:25, June 09, 2010      

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Philippine Senator Benigno "NoyNoy" Aquino III, who is expected to be proclaimed winner of the presidential election after an official counting by the Congress, shows to reporters his "Barong Tagalog", a Filipino traditional suit that he is planning to wear at his presidential inauguration, during a news conference at Aquino's residence in Quezon City, Metro Manila June 7, 2010. (Xinhua/Agencies Photo)

Philippines' Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III was officially proclaimed the country's next President by the Philippine Congress on Wednesday afternoon.

Prior to the official proclamation, Aquino emerged as the winner of the Philippines' 2010 presidential election after the joint Senate-House canvassing committee finished its tally of votes for president and vice president on Tuesday, garnering more than 15.2 million votes, 5.7 million votes more than his closest rival -- former President Joseph Estrada, who secured less than 9. 5 million votes.

Meanwhile, Jejomar Binay, former Makati City mayor as well as vice presidential candidate of the Philippine Democratic Party- People's Power (PDP-Laban), was officially proclaimed Philippines' next vice president by the Congress. Binay defeated his main opponent, Manuel Roxas II of the Liberal Party, with an advantage margin of more than 727,000 votes.

Estrada conceded defeat to Aquino on Wednesday, shortly before the proclamation of the country's next president. In a letter that was read on his behalf by one of his sons in the Congress, Estrada said that he will "extend support to Aquino", and believes that Aquino has the mandate of the Filipino people.

Minutes after the proclamation, Aquino held a press conference, answering a wide range of questions, from his cabinet members arrangement to personal questions such as whether there will be a wedding ceremony in Philippines' presidential palace for him, who, at the age of 50, is not married.

Aquino said that he is still considering a number of places to live in when he has been sworn in as president for the country, but the place is "definitely not the Malacanang", which has long been the official residence of Philippine presidents.

When asked about Delfin Bangit, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who was appointed by outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo shortly before the 2010 General Elections which was held on May 10, Aquino reiterated that Bangit "will not be my Chief of Staff".

Talking about those who will oppose his administration, Aquino said "I welcome criticism, especially constructive criticism", adding that he will "focus on doing the best that we can for the majority of the people."

Aquino, the only son of late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, pledged during his campaign that among other efforts to bring positive changes to the Philippines, he will place the battle against corruption high on the agenda of his government, for he deems corruption the root cause for poverty and people's lack in trust with the government in the Philippines.

Benigno Aquino Jr., was shot dead on the tarmac of an airport in Manila in military custody in 1983 upon returning to Philippines from exile in the United States to challenge the then President Ferdinand Marcos. The killing triggered extensive protests which led to Marcos' stepping down. Later, Corazon Aquino, a democratic icon just like her husband, was elected President of the Philippines. She was the first female President of the Philippines.

Graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1981, Aquino was elected to the House of Representatives in 1998, officially entering the political ring, and was elected to the Senate in 2007. Within the Liberal Party, Aquino has been holding the Vice-Chairman position since March 2006.

The presidential term of Arroyo ends on June 30. Aquino is expected to be sworn in on July 1.

Source: Xinhua


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