Senator Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay were proclaimed on Wednesday as the duly elected president and vice president, respectively, by the Joint Congressional National Canvassing Committee.
Aquino was proclaimed the country’s 15th President ahead of the projected June 15 proclamation schedule after garnering 15,208,678 votes in the country’s first automated national elections. He will start his term together with members of the 15th Congress.
Before the proclamation, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada stood on the floor to read the congratulatory message of his father, former President Joseph Estrada who placed second to Aquino in the presidential race.
Earlier, Malacañang extended its congratulatory message to Aquino and Binay, wishing them all the best as they take the reins of the country starting June 30.
Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza congratulated the new government leaders, adding the outgoing Arroyo administration is ready to facilitate a smooth transition of power.
President Arroyo, on a two-day swing in Shanghai, China, was expected to issue a separate congratulatory message to her successor within the day.
“We congratulate our new President and Vice President who I understand will be formally proclaimed today by Congress,” Mendoza said in a news conference in the Palace a few hours before the official proclamation in Congress.
“We wish the new government all the best, as leave in their hands an economy in better shape than when we found it nine years ago,” he added. (Gennalyn Kabiling)
Source: ABS-CBN/Manila Bulletin