MANILA, Philippines – President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has included his defeated running mate, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, in his 5-man presidential transition team.
In a letter sent to Malacañang on Wednesday morning, Aquino identified Roxas as one of the members of his transition team. The letter is dated June 11.
The other members of the transition team are:
former Education Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, who may return to the Department of Education (DepEd);
Julia Abad, Aquino’s chief of staff in the Senate;
incoming Executive Secretary Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa Jr.; and,
former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who is reportedly being eyed to head the Department of Finance again.
The letter informs Presidential Management Staff (PMS) chief Elena Bautista-Horn that the 5 individuals have been granted the authority “necessary and indispensable for the lawful and efficient transfer of government authority and responsibility on June 30, 2010.”
The letter adds: “These responsibilities include, and are not limited to, coordinating arrangement for the inaugural program, ensuring the smooth turnover of Cabinet portfolios, and assisting in the accounting and disposition of relevant records, information and equipment.”
Aquino’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, clarified that Roxas’s designation as a member of the transition team does not violate the 1-year ban on appointing losing candidates to government posts.
Lacierda explained that Roxas’s position in the transition team is Aquino’s personal designation, and is merely for the purpose of the transition.
Aquino earlier announced that he would give Roxas a position in government after the 1-year appointment ban on losing bets expires.
The incoming president also said that Roxas, who set aside his own presidential aspiration for Aquino, would have unlimited access to him.
The camp of Roxas has said they plan to file an election protest against Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay.
Meanwhile, Lacierda announced that Aquino has formally asked Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales to administer his oath of office on June 30 at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
Binay’s lawyer and spokesman, JV Bautista, also told ABS-CBN on Wednesday that the vice president-elect has also asked Carpio-Morales to administer his oath. (Report from Pia Hontiveros, ABS-CBN News and read more on Yahoo! Philippines News)