Philippine President-elect appoints new Cabinet based on trust, credentials

20:18, June 29, 2010      

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Philippine President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III announces the members of his Cabinet during a news conference in Quezon City, Metro Manila June 29, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

Philippine President-elect Benigno Aquino III announced Tuesday the new members of his Cabinet.

In naming the members of his Cabinet, Aquino stressed not only on their credentials, but also on how he personally trust each appointee. He added that he didn't mind retaining some Cabinet members of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as long as they're competent and help realize his administration's programs.

Aquino's long-time legal counsel and former Quezon City Administrator Paquito Ochoa Jr. will serve as Executive Secretary, heading the official family.

"He (Ochoa) has helped me out with understanding the law, the intricacies of the law since I started (my stint) in public office. He gave me the most sound advice and he is more than qualified" to become Executive Secretary, Aquino said in a press briefing.

Ochoa headed a team of Filipino lawyers that actively campaigned for Aquino.

Ochoa and Aquino go back a long way and their families have been political allies for years, members of the Liberal Party. Their fathers and namesakes - the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former Pulilan Mayor Paquito Ochoa Sr. - were friends.

Another trusted aide, Julia Abad, will head the Presidential Management Staff. "She has my absolute trust," Aquino' said. Abad, who has a masters in public governance at Harvard University, was then Senator Aquino's chief of staff.

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