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Aquino names Cabinet, takes DILG helm

By Maila Ager
First Posted 15:16:00 06/29/2010

Filed Under: Government

MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE 2) President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino on Tuesday named the official members of his Cabinet, which he described as a mixture of "old and new faces."

"You will see old and new faces. You will see the young and...also young," Aquino told a press conference when he presented the nearly 30 members of his official family.

"But bottom line is these are the people who I believe have committed to the philosophy that the problems in this country are solvable..., have the energy and the commitment to sacrifice, to do the necessary things that will effect the changes the people are aspiring for," he said.

Among the new faces in his Cabinet are Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Presidential Management Staff chief Julia Abad, Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim, and presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

Ochoa was Quezon city administrator, Abad is Aquino's chief of staff in the Senate and daughter of newly-appointed Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad, Lim was executive director of the Makati Business Club, while Lacierda, a lawyer, served as Aquino's spokesman during the campaign.

The old faces, who were either incumbent officials of their respective departments or had served the previous administrations, are Budget Secretary Abad, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, presidential adviser on peace process Teresita Deles, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, among others.

Aquino described Ochoa's role as the "guardian of my back."

The newly-appointed Executive Secretary, he said, has been helping him out in understanding the law and the "intricacies of the law" since he started in public office.

Aquino introduced his new Defense chief, retired Lieutenant General Voltaire Gazmin, as one of the key people who took good care of his family during the "numerous coup attempts" against the administration of his late mother, President Corazon Aquino.

The new PMS chief, Julia Abad, on the other hand, got the "absolute trust" of the newly-elected President having served him "faithfully" since he was elected senator in 2007.

"She has undergone numerous schoolings. But more than that, she has my absolute trust having run my office," said Aquino.

"If I have been able to do anything within the Senate, it is because of her. I think she possesses 80 percent of the brain I am holding," he further said.

Aquino meanwhile described his Budget Secretary as his "mentor" and the "best person " for the job.

"The budget is the enabler of all of our policy decisions. We believe he is the best person at the present time to assist us in judiciously spending the people's funds," he said.

Following are the members of Aquino?s Cabinet:

1. Paquito Ochoa Jr., Executive Secretary

2. Alberto Romulo, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs

3. Cesar Purisima, Secretary of Department of Finance

4. Leila de Lima, Secretary of Department of Justice

5. Voltaire Gazmin, Secretary of Department of National Defense

6. Bro. Armin Luistro, Secretary of Department of Education

7. Florencio Abad, Secretary of Department of Budget and Management

8. Cayetano Paderanga Jr., Secretary of National Economic Development Authority

9. Proceso Alcala, Secretary of Department of Agriculture

10. Ramon Paje, Secretary of Department Environment and Natural Resources

11. Jose "Ping" de Jesus, Secretary of Department of Transportations and Communications.

12. Rosalinda Baldoz, Secretary of Department of Labor and Employment

13. Enrique Ona, Secretary of Department of Health

14. Alberto Lim, Secretary of Department of Tourism

15. Gregory Domingo, Secretary of Department of Trade and Industry

16. Corazon Soliman, Secretary of Department of Social Welfare and Development

17. Mario Montejo, Secretary of Department of Science and Technology

18. Jose Rene Almendras, Secretary of Department of Energy

19. Rogelio Singson, Secretary of Department of Public Works and Highways

20. Virgilio de los Reyes, Secretary of Department of Agrarian Reform

21. Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on peace process

22. Julia Abad, presidential management staff chief

23. Edwin Lacierda, presidential spokesman

24. Eduardo de Mesa, presidential legal counsel

25. Patricia Liguanan, Chairman of Commission on Higher Education

26. Kim Jacinto-Henares, Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue

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