PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III swore 36 new officials in his government, including ABS-CBN Foundation managing director Regina Paz Lopez who was earlier named chairperson of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office head Ricky Carandang denied that Lopez' appointment was a political reward on the support extended by Lopez family to Aquino during the campaign.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

"Absolutely not a political reward. Gina Lopez has long been involved in efforts to clean up the Pasig River . It's a logical choice," said Carandang.

Lopez is an Outstanding Manilan awardee because of her environmental advocacy "Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig" and "Bantay Kalikasan", and her concern for underprivileged Filipino youth through the establishment of the Children's Village.

Aquino also swore in Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) head Herminio Coloma, Jr.; Commission on Higher Education chairperson Patricia Licuanan; and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) chairman Daniel Lacson, Jr. who have already assumed their post prior to their ceremonial oath-taking before the President.

Aquino also swore in Karina Constantino David as a member of the GSIS Board of Trustees.

The President also administered the oath of office to new Social Security System (SSS) officials led by its new President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr.; Chairman Juan Santos; and Commissioner Diane Pardo-Aguilar.

Also swore in new Development Bank of the Philippines officials led by president and Chief Executive Officer Francisco del Rosario, Jr.; chairman Jose Nunez; and board members Antonio Jose Periquet and Juan Kevin Belmonte.

Aquino also swore into office National Mapping and Resource Information Administration administrator Peter Tiangco, retired police generals Rex Piad as special envoy for transnational crime and Felizardo Serapio, Jr., as Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime.

The chief executive also administered the oath of office to Sugar Regulatory Administration Administrator Ma. Regina B. Martin who is a sugarcane plantation owner and farmer advocate; Geraldine Go Bernardo as Executive Director of the Philippine Sports Commission; and Jose Luis Reyes Gomez as PSC Commissioner; and Manila Economic and Cultural Office board of director member Manuel Dimaculangan; Cultural Center of the Philippines board of trustee members Jaime Laya, and Maria Cristina V. Turalba.

The other officials were:

For the Department of Agrarian Reform: Antonio N. Parungao and Jerry E. Pacturan, Undersecretaries; Maria Theresa I. Martinez, Herminia Fe B. San Juan, and Mary Frances Pesayco Aquino, Assistant Secretaries;

For the Department of Justice: Jacqueline B. Veloria Mejia and Geronimo L. Sy, Assistant Secretaries;

For the Department of Tourism: Maria Victoria V. Jasmin and Domingo Ramon C. Enerio, Assistant Secretaries;

For the PCOO: Elizardo de Layola and Renato M. Marfil, Assistant Secretaries. Layola was formerly from of People's Tonight while Marfil is from Abante and Abante Tonite.

The President also administered the oaths of office to 15 newly-elected mayors comprising the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in the province of Leyte.(JMR/Sunnex)