Philippine congress proclaims Aquino 15th president..

President Obama no longer smokes..
June 11, 2010 - The Philippine Congress proclaimed Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino as the Southeast Asian nation's 15th president Tuesday, June 8th formalizing the landslide victory of the son of deeply revered democracy icons. Aquino's late parents - opposition Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. and ex-President Corazon Aquino - are revered for their opposition to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted by a 1986 "people power" revolt.

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President Barack Obama congratulated Aquino during a telephone conversation, praising the country's first automated elections on May 10 as a "positive testament to the strength and vitality of democracy" in the former U.S. commonwealth. Aquino said he brought up both their smoking problems, for which the new Philippine leader has been criticized by both supporters and critics. "Mr. President, I understand we have the same issue with smoking," Aquino said he told Obama. "He said, 'Well I quit that already. I have quit. It's your sole problem. At the time that you decide to quit, I'll send the advice.'" Obama said last year that he couldn't quite break his 30-year smoking habit at times, and his doctor said in February that his smoking was still a struggle.

Aquino, a 50-year-old bachelor from one of the country's wealthiest landowning clans, will take his oath of office on June 30. He will replace Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who won a congressional seat in last month's elections after a nine-year presidency wracked by failed coup attempts and opposition impeachment bids for alleged election fraud, corruption and human rights abuses.

Reference: US, China welcome Aquino's victory in Philippines by JIM GOMEZ, Associated Press Writer, 6/10/2010.

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