ERAP'S CABINET: ZAMORA, ESPIRITU, MERCADO
Manila, May 9, 1998 - Vice President Joseph Estrada, beaming with confidence that he will win the presidency in the May 11 elections, has named his choices for the top positions of his cabinet.
San Juan Congressman Ronaldo Zamora will be appointed Executive Secretary, Senator Orlando Mercado will be named Defense Secretary, and the Finance Department will be headed by Edgardo Espiritu. The Department of Foreign Affairs portfolio will say with incumbent Secretary Domingo Siazon, who was Estrada's high school classmate at Ateneo.
Zamora has been identified with the Estrada camp long before the 1992 presidential elections, when Estrada ran for Vice President under Zamora's ally and patron former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco. He played a major role in shaping the opposition coalition Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino. Zamora's experience in the Executive Secretary's office began almost 30 years ago, when he served under Executive Secretary Rafael Salas and later under Executive Secretary Alejandro Melchor.
Senator Orlando Mercado, himself touted as presidential material, brokered the entry into Estrada's camp of politicians identified with the progressive movements. He is LAMMP's national campaign chairman. In the Senate, Mercado has headed the Committee on National Defense for many years, giving him considerable experience on the matters of national defense and security.
Edgardo Espiritu is president of Westmont Bank and one of 30 financial and economic advisers of Estrada.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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