Presidency makes me anxious and eager — Aquino

June 9, 2010 7:49 pm 

By Mediatrix P. Cristobal

MANILA, June 9 — Exactly 31 days after the conduct of the country's first-ever automated national and local elections on May 10, the Philippine Congress on Wednesday finally proclaimed Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III as the country's next president, with outgoing Makati City Mayor Jejomar C. Binay as vice president.

"Tayo ay natutuwa na natapos na ang proseso. Nandoon ang agam-agam at kagustuhang sagutin ang suliranin. Anxious and eager. (I'm happy that (canvassing) is over, anxiousness and eagerness is there). Eagerness to resolve problems besetting us," the incoming President said during a press conference held shortly after he was proclaimed during a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

Crushing his closest opponent, former President Joseph Estrada, by a majority of 5,720,841 votes, Aquino — the third and only son of former President Corazon C. Aquino and assassinated former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. — was proclaimed as the country's 15th president and second from the family to lead the country.

The young Aquino said he will start his first days of presidency by doing inventory on the problems that would greet him as successor of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"(We'll do an) inventory of problems we are in the midst of. After all, wrong identification of problems leads to wrong solution," he stressed.

Clad in white "Barong" made by designer JC Buendia, he announced he will take his oath somewhere in Quezon City, before Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.

He declined to disclose the names of his incoming Cabinet members, as he said his team is still sifting through these candidates' qualifications. He said he will announce the names of his team as soon as the list is completed.

He said he will set a meeting with Vice President-elect Binay who earlier offered his expertise to lead the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

"I have several candidates for DILG. I will talk to the vice president-elect and we will come up with something mutually agreeable," he said.

Aquino also said some of his priorities include jobs generation locally, so Filipinos do not have to leave the country out of necessity and expose themselves to risks.

He also dismissed anew talks of imminent wedding with his girlfriend, reelected Valenzuela City Cuncilor Shalani Soledad who was seen sitting beside Aquino's sisters Maria Elena (Ballsy) Aquino Cruz, Aurora Corazon (Pinky) Aquino Abellada, Victoria Eliza (Viel) Aquino Dee, and Kristina Bernadette (Kris) Aquino Yap.

"Iyan ang kaisa-isang tanong na di natin masagot. (That's one question we still can't answer)," he said, adding that he is focused on resolving the problem that he will "inherit" upon taking the post come June 30.

Meanwhile, he said he is yet to communicate again with losing running mate, Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, who is on a long break following an upset loss to Binay.

"Mar is out of town. I texted him… We will set meetings in the future. I will give him space," he said.

He also said that he will take a break soon, in an undisclosed location.

"Hindi ko babanggitin sa inyo, sorry (I will not say where)," he said.

Aquino garnered 15,208,678 votes against Estrada's 9,487,837 votes.

Belonging to the Liberal Party, Aquino has held various positions such as secretary-general and vice president for Luzon. He is currently the LP vice chairman.

After the death last year of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, there had been numerous and loud calls for Aquino to run for president of the Philippines from all over Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

Aquino is an economist by education, a lawmaker by vocation. He is an audiophile, history buff, marksman and self-taught billiards sharpie. (PNA)

DCT/scs/MPC

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