Manila: President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III said that he will not appoint relatives in the government, prompting observers to say he must have the political will to oust his relatives who were all appointed by outgoing President Gloria Arroyo.
Aquino's aunt Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara, is Arroyo's image enhancer. Paul Aquino, another uncle, is Arroyo's government consultant. Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, brother of former President Corazon Aquino, is incumbent Philippine Sports Commissioner.
Meanwhile, Aquino has appointed two former cabinet members of Arroyo. Corazon Soliman was named Secretary of Department of Social Works and Development and Teresita Deles as presidential adviser on peace process.
In 2005, the two were part of several disgruntled allies of Arroyo who called for the president to resign for her alleged involvement in election fraud in 2004.
Aquino has publicly named two other Cabinet secretaries: Pacquito Ochoa, a friend and legal adviser, as Executive Secretary and Edwin Lacierda as presidential spokesman. They have accepted the posts.
Rock star and band singer Jim Paredes will be named as tourism secretary, sources said, adding that Cesar Purisima and Boy Blue del Rosario are being considered as Finance Secretary.
TV anchor Ricky Carandang was identified as possible press secretary. Aquino is to take his oath of office as the 15th president of the Philippines on June 30.