The Noynoy Aquino Inaugural And Beyond (Updated With Cabinet Line-Up)
I-Day is upon us. D-Day, too.
I’m referring, of course, to what many Filipinos feel is the dawn of a new day as represented by the ascension of Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III as the 15th President of the Republic.
The seeming national euphoria is underscored by his Inaugural on the back of a reformist agenda anchored on eliminating corruption, corruption that is, to many personified by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
After the strictly formal Inaugural, there will be street dancing, dancing in celebration of P.Noy’s inauguration and the departure of GMA.
She has her own spacious office in the 15th Congress as an elected lawmaker representing Pampanga’s first district.
Mrs. Arroyo says she will emulate India’s Sonja Gandhi who despite being leader of her political party sits as an ‘ordinary’ MP.
As Filipinos watch how the conduct of state affairs under President Noynoy will be, so to will they look askance at Arroyo whose loyal lap dog… errrh follower Norberto Gonzales, the exiting defense secretary, is forming what he presumptuously calls “a government-in-waiting.”
The remark is surely another way of saying that Gonzales will work to ensure the failure of Noynoy short of plotting extra legal moves to unseat him.
The hubris is not entirely surprising given the existing regime’s penchant for dishing out advice to the incoming government, advice that most Filipinos are scoffing at.
This is not to say that the honeymoon with the new administration will run for an indeterminate period.
But on its success rides the hopes of a people long deprived of good government.
There will be miss steps,
But this corner has every reason to believe that this time around, the absence of transparency, accountability, and lack of integrity that so marked the Arroyo regime will not be repeated.
Godspeed, President Noynoy Aquino.
Here is the nearly complete Aquino Cabinet:
Paquito Ochoa Jr., Executive Secretary
Julia Abad, Presidential Management Staff
Edwin Lacierda, Presidential Spokesperson
Eduardo de Mesa, Presidential Legal Counsel
Sec. Alberto Romulo, retained for Foreign Affairs
Cesar Purisima, Finance
Leila de Lima, Justice
Voltaire Gazmin, National Defense
Cayetano Paderanga, NEDA
Br. Armin Luistro, Education
Florencio Abad, Budget and Management
Rep. Proceso Alcala, Agriculture
Usec. Ramon Paje, Environment and Natural Resources
Jose de Jesus, Transportation and Communication
Rosalinda Baldoz, Labor and Employment
Dr. Enrique Ona, Health
Gregory Domingo, Trade and Industry
Alberto Lim, Tourism
Corazon Soliman, Social Welfare and Development
Mario Montejo, Science and Technology
Jose Almendras, Energy
Rogelio Singson, Public Works and Highways
Virgilio delos Reyes, Agrarian Reform
Teresita Deles, Adviser on the Peace Process
Patricia Licuanan, Commission on Higher Education
Kim Henares, Bureau of Internal Revenue
P.Noy has taken on the Interior and Local Government portfolio until he completes talks with the prospective appointee who is widely believed to be Baga City mayor Jesse Robredo.
Pending are the heads for the reorganized Office of the Press Secretary which is being called the Presidential Communications Group.
In all, there are an estimated 5,000 positions for presidential appointees.