Aquino proclaimed Philippine president


MANILA – Congress in a joint session today proclaimed opposition Senator Benigno C. Aquino III as the 15th president of the Republic of the Philippines. Cheers from the gallery erupted as Aquino’s hands were raised simultaneously by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Prospero Nograles.

President-elect Aquino, a bachelor, will formally assume the presidency at noon of June 30 from out-going President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Also proclaimed with Aquino was Vice-President-Elect Jejomar Binay, the outgoing mayor of Makati City, the Philippines’ business capital.

Aquino and Binay overwhelmingly won in the May 10 automated elections.

Following tradition in every proclamation, Aquino and Binay did not deliver speeches before the plenary.

However, Aquino immediately held a press conference after his proclamation.

Aquino wore a Barong Tagalog embroidered with his trademark ribbon. He was accompanied by his sisters movie actress Kris Aquino-Yap, Pinky Aquino-Abellada, Balsy Aquino-Cruz, Viel Aquino-Dee, and their families.

Sitting as the national board of canvassers, Congress finished counting the electronically-generated certificates of canvass in eight days, a record in a Philippine election.

In the final counting, Aquino got 15,208,678 votes as against his closest rival, former president Joseph Estrada, who garnered 9,487,837 votes or a margin of 5,720,841 votes.

Third place was Senator Manuel Villar with 5,573,835 votes; followed by former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro with 4,095,839 votes; evangelist Eduardo Villanueva with 1,125,878 votes; Senator Richard Gordon with 501,727 votes; disqualified candidate Vetallano Acosta with 181,985 votes; Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal with 46,489 votes; Nicanor Perlas with 54,575 votes; and JC Delos Reyes with 44,244 votes.

In the vice presidential race, Binay got 14,645,574 votes as against Sen. Mar Roxas who posted 13,918,490 votes.

Senator Loren Legarda ranked third with 4,294,664 votes, followed by Bayani Fernando with 1,017,631; Edu Manzano with 807,728; Perfecto Yasay with 364,652; Jay Sonza with 64,230; and Dominador Chipeco with 52,562.

Aquino whose nickname is Noynoy is the only son of assassinated Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. and the late former President Corazon C. Aquino, who ascended to power during the People Power revolt that ousted the 20-year Marcos regime in 1986.

Noynoy had no plan to run for president until his mother died of cancer last August that triggered a massive clamor for the 50-year old senator to get a crack at the presidency.

Aquino, an economics graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University, vowed to fight corruption and improve the economy.

During the press conference, Aquino said he was looking forward to solve the many problems facing the Philippines.

He also said he was anxious and eager to work as president.

Asia, PoliticsBen Cal