Aquino names Cabinet members

Posted at 06/29/10 3:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Tuesday named the members of his Cabinet. He also announced he would establish a "truth commission" headed by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide.

Aquino himself will take over the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) pending negotiations with three candidates.

Paquito "Jojo" Ochoa Jr. will be Aquino's executive secretary, also known as the "Little President."

Aquino campaign spokesman and lawyer Edwin Lacierda was named presidential spokesman.

Current Meralco President Jose "Ping" de Jesus and former public works secretary of Cory Aquino was named secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications.

Engineer Mario Montejo of the UP College of Engineering was named secretary of the Department of Science and Technology

Corazon "Dinky" Soliman returns to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Gregory Domingo was named secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry. He was formerly trade and industry undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) chief when Sen. Mar Roxas was at the DTI.

Domingo will likely will head the department for a year after which Roxas will take over.

Ramon Paje, a former DENR undersecretary, will head the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Alberto "Bertie" Lim, executive director of the influential Makati Business Club (MBC), will be secretary of Department of Tourism (DOT).

Lim was president of Ten Knots Development Corporation, owners and managers of El Nido resorts, before he became executive director of the MBC in 2006.

Jose Rene D. Almendras, president of the Manila Water Co., was named secretary of the Department of Energy (DoE). Before joining the Ayala Group, Almendras was treasurer of Aboitiz & Co., and Aboitiz Equity Ventures.

Outgoing Quezon 2nd district Rep. Proceso Alcala was named secretary of the Department of Agriculture. Alcala has established a foundation for farmers and fishermen in Quezon province, raising their incomes.

Lawyer Kim Jacinto Henares, former deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), is the new chief of the tax agency.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, a long-time ally and supporter of the Aquino family, will stay in his post.

Romulo, a long-time family friend and supporter of the Aquinos, has been foreign affairs secretary of the Arroyo government since 2004. He had expressed his personal support for Aquino in the 2010 elections.

Romulo was the late former President Corazon Aquino's budget minister before he ran and won a seat in the Senate in 1987.

Former Education Secretary and Aquino campaign manager Florencio "Butch" Abad will be secretary of the Department of Budget and Management.

Aquino's Senate chief of staff Julia Abad, daughter of Butch Abad, will head the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) office.

Former Philippine Army commanding general and former Presidential Security Guard (PSG) chief during the Cory Aquino administration Voltaire Gazmin was named secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND).

Former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima will return to his old post.

Guillermo Parayno will return as Bureau of Customs commissioner. 

Leila de Lima, chair of the Commission on Human Rights, was named secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will be involved in any investigation into allegations of corruption against President Arroyo and her administration, as well as cases such as the election-related massacre of at least 57 people on Mindanao last year.

"At least the justice secretary can be his partner in pursuing some of the initiatives he wants to take. The president and his new Cabinet are very encouraging signs," Ramon del Rosario, a former finance secretary and head of the lobby group Makati Business Club, earlier told Reuters.

Rosalinda Baldoz, former administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), was named secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Maynilad Water Services, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rogelio "Babes" L. Singson was named secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Singson joined Maynilad after its reprivatization in 2007 under new owners, DMCI-Metro Pacific Consortium.

Prior to joining the country’s largest water concessionaire, Singson was the chairman and president of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

He was involved in the conceptualization and implementation of the country's biggest property privatization—Fort Bonifacio.  

He also helped monitor foreign-assisted Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects during the transition from the Marcos government to the Cory government.

For the Department of Health (DOH). Aquino named Dr. Enrique Ona, currently executive director of the National Kidney and Transplantation Institute.

De La Salle University President Rev. Armin Luistro was named of secretary of the Department of Education.

A statement released by De La Salle last week said Luistro arrived at the decision after consulting with the university's stakeholders.

Luistro was among those who called for President Arroyo's resignation in 2005 after she was accused of rigging the 2004 presidential election.

University of the Philippines (UP) Economics Professor Cayetano "Dondon" Paderanga was appointed socio-economic planning secretary.
Paderanga takes over as director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) from acting NEDA chief Augusto Santos, a career officer.

Paderanga headed the same agency in the last 3 years (1990-1992) of the first Aquino government.

He was also member of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Monetary Board from 1993 to 1999. He was executive director for the Philippines in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) from 2001 to 2003.

Paderanga's appointment also signals the return of the economic planning agency to professors of the University of the Philippines.

From 1986 to 2002, faculty from the UP and the prestigious UP School of Economics led the NEDA, among them, Solita 'Winnie' Monsod, Prof. Dante Canlas, Prof. Felipe Medalla and Prof. Cielito Habito.

In 2002, President Arroyo named Romulo Neri, a marketing graduate of the UP School of Business Administration, as NEDA director-general. Neri eventually got involved in the overpriced National Broadband Network (NBN)-ZTE telecommunications deal and was replaced by former Senator Ralph Recto in July 2008. 

Virgilio de los Reyes was named secretary of Department of Agrarian Reform.

Teresita Quintos-Deles returns as presidential adviser on the peace process.

Lawyer Eduardo de Mesa, will be Aquino's chief Presidential Legal Counsel.

After leaving the Villaraza Cruz Marcelo and Angangco Law Office, de Mesa and incoming executive secretary Ochoa decided to form their own law firm.

Dr. Patricia Licuanan was named chair of the Commission on  Higher Education. She is president of Miriam College.

Major General Ric David will be the next chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.