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Aquino names long-time friend as executive secretary

By Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 12:09:00 05/31/2010

Filed Under: Politics, Government

MANILA, Philippines?President apparent Benigno ?Noynoy? Aquino III on Monday named his long time friend and chief counsel, Pacquiton ?Jojo? Ochoa, as his executive secretary once he formally assumes the presidency.

?Yes,? Aquino told reporters in the Senate when asked if Ochoa has accepted the post.

?He?s (Ochoa) preparing for it. He?s been my primary counsel for the past 12 to 14 years,? he said.

Aquino said he sounded the post for Ochoa immediately after the just concluded elections.

As executive secretary, Ochoa would be the ?implementor? of his policies, Aquino said.

But aside from the ES post, Aquino said he was also considering Ochoa as his legal counsel or justice secretary.

?There are three options that he can go into, preferably yung ES,? he said.

Aquino said Ochoa was also the right person for the DoJ post to go after the smugglers

?Di ba ipinangako ko for instance to go after the smugglers? We already have a list. We?ll be effecting the necessary arrest, charges, etc,? he said.

And Aquino believes that Ochoa is capable of prosecuting the smugglers.

Ochoa was the third Cabinet member named by Aquino after Corazon ?Dinky? Soliman as Secretary of the Department ofSocial Welfare and Development and Teresita ?Ding? Deles as presidential adviser on peace process.

Soliman and Deles are members of the so-called ?Hyatt 10,? composed of 10 former Cabinet members of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who resigned in 2005 after the so-called Hello Garci scandal.



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