MANILA, Philippines – The jockeying for Cabinet posts in the next administration has started.
Florencio “Butch” Abad, the Liberal Party’s (LP) campaign manager, told ABS-CBN News on Sunday that he has received over a hundred text messages and emails from people asking they be considered for Cabinet positions in the Aquino administration.
Though LP standard-bearer Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino has not yet been proclaimed as the next president, he is ahead of his rival, former president Joseph Estrada, in the partial vote count.
Aquino has said he is ready to govern, but has not directly claimed the presidency.
A source told ABS-CBN News that 2 secretaries in the outgoing Arroyo administration, a former secretary and one mayor were among those who expressed interest of joining an Aquino administration.
Abad said Aquino prefers to have new faces in his Cabinet to help the country gain a fresh start.
On March 14, Aquino revealed that he was setting up a committee to look at Cabinet posts, with investors waiting on his choices for key economic and finance positions for signals on policy direction.
The relatively smooth election process and the emergence of a clear winner with market-friendly credentials are seen as a positive development for improving long-term investor perception.
However, the speed with which the result has become known has created something of a void. Official results are not likely until June, and second-placed Estrada will not concede until then.
Aquino’s search committee is likely to have as members some of the country’s top businessmen and prominent representatives from various nongovernment organizations and civil society groups.
Bigger role eyed
Abad said his party’s primary focus now is to ask Congress to give the LP a bigger role in the canvassing of the certificates of canvass (COC).
He said the LP’s request is justified because Aquino enjoys a big lead over Estrada.
The LP is currently a minority party. Report from Maricar Bautista, ABS-CBN News