Philippine President-elect appoints new Cabinet based on trust, credentials (2)

20:18, June 29, 2010      

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Several Cabinet positions went to known allies of Aquino's mother, former Philippine President Corazon "Cory" Aquino. Former Philippine Army chief and ex- Defense Attache to Washington D.C., retired Lieutenant General Voltaire Gazmin was named Defense Secretary. Alberto Romulo was retained as Foreign Affairs Secretary. Manila Electric Company President and Chief Operating Officer Jose de Jesus got the Transportation and Communication portfolio. They all served in Cory's Cabinet, with Gazmin heading the Presidential Security Group (PSG), Romulo was then Budget Chief while de Jesus was with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Aquino, who won his post on an anti-corruption platform, appointed feisty Human Rights Commissioner Leila de Lima as Justice Secretary. Human rights groups hailed the appointment of the former election lawyer to the Justice department.

Cesar Purisima, one of Aquino's campaign donors, was named Finance Secretary. He was appointed trade secretary in 2004 and later finance secretary in 2005. He once headed Sycip, Gorres and Velayo, one of the country's biggest auditing firms.

Aquino is yet to appoint the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government. He will temporarily assume this post.

Florencio Abad, campaign manager of Liberal Party, Aquino's party, was named Budget Secretary. Abad served as Representative of Batanes province for almost a decade, before he was appointed Education Secretary in 2004.

"He (Abad) is my mentor," Aquino said, adding that Abad "is the best person of present time to assist us in judicioulsy spending the people's funds."

Cayetano Paderanga, economics professor at the University of the Philippines, is the Socioeconomic Planning Secretary. He served as Monetary Board member and Socioeconomic Planning Chief under the administration of Aquino's mother.

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