Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Aquino election could jumpstart government reform in Philippines
Of course, it's not the first time that the election of a new government in the Philippines captured the imagination of people hoping for honesty and integrity in the southeast Asian country. But the landslide victory of Benigno Aquino III, son of two of the country's most beloved leaders, could be the start of something extraordinary for the traditional ally of the United States. Aquino, who has promised to eliminate corruption and protect Philippine democracy, takes office June 30. He also has promised to negotiate with Marxist and Islamic rebels in the county's south, whose long-running insurgency threatened to disrupt the presidency of his mother, Corazon Aquino, who replaced longtime dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. She survived seven coup attempts before her term expired in 1992, according to Cable News Network (CNN). Aquino's father, Benigno, known as Ninoy, was murdered in 1983 upon his return from exile to the Philippines, where he was planning to lead a campaign against Marcos. Aquino easily defeated eight other candidates in May's presidential election, including former President Joseph Estrada, and the day of his inauguration, planned for a seaside park in Manila, has been declared a national holiday. Aquino has promised a truth commission to ferret out corruption in government, and pledged to appoint a former chief justice to look into fraud allegations arising during the term of his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, CNN said.