Archive for the ‘Presidentiabes (2010)’ Category

Editorial Cartoon: Southern Campaign

April 17, 2009

kampanya-daw

Abu Sayaff is now a Political Endorser.  A puppet political endorser.

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Gordon hints at joining 2010 race

October 7, 2008

By Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:47:00 10/07/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Hinting at his entry into the 2010 presidential derby, Senator Richard Gordon reminded the nation on Tuesday that the “next president should have competence, integrity and reliability.”

The senator, in a press statement, said he “has remained open to clamor for him by some sectors to seek the presidency come the May 2010 elections,” although it also said he has “yet to make his decision final as he prefers to focus his efforts on his works in the Senate.”

In September, Senate President Manuel Villar declared his decision to seek the presidency in 2010, a move that made him the target of colleagues in the chamber who also harbor presidential ambition.

Villar has been accused of inserting into the 2008 national budget a double funding for the Circumferential-5 extension road in Parañaque City, a claim he and his Senate allies vehemently denied.

With the global financial meltdown, Gordon said the country should have “a strong leader.”

“The next president should be able to offer to the Filipino electorate a proven track record of competence, enjoy integrity and can be relied upon during times of national crisis,” said Gordon.

More than money and political machinery, Gordon said a presidential candidate, or any candidate for national or local post, should possess the right qualities of a strong leader to improve the country and the citizenry.

“The next president of this nation should possess the traits of a strong and competent leader to be able to put to the front burner the need to uplift our people from their suffering and to provide them with the dignity that they deserve,” he said.

“The people should choose a leader that has the right qualifications, an unsullied track record of performance, a national vision, and someone who is least tainted by corruption or by influence of the powerful,” he added.

The statement said Gordon has been strongly pushing for the rehabilitation and acceleration of the country’s education and health care system, the promotion of tourism that would create jobs in the countryside, and the institution of political reforms, foremost of which was the full automation of the country’s electoral exercise.

Concurrently, Gordon is the chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), which he claimed to have modernized, “transforming it into an institution that is not only limited to providing blood and responding to disaster-related incidents, but also offering volunteer, social, community health and nursing, and safety services.”

Recently, the PNRC acquired new equipment such as ambulances, rubber boats and fire trucks, which have allowed its volunteers to respond quickly to more victims of disasters and calamities.

“It is unfortunate that most people look up to politicians who have money and political power, when what they really have to focus on are the good and productive things that a candidate has done to improve the country,” Gordon said.

He explained that the Filipino voters should be “smarter” in choosing the country’s next president by looking deeper into the track record of the candidates.

“Our country needs a leader and not just a political figure. We need a president who knows not only what the country needs, but also what should be prioritized among those needs and how each necessity should be addressed,” he said. (PDI)

Plunder raps filed vs Villar over P1.5-B loan

October 2, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

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Senate President Manuel Villar was charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged failure of his family’s bank to pay a P1.5-billion loan with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

In response, Villar’s office said a similar case had been dismissed “for lack of palpable merit” by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2006.

“Clearly, therefore, this case is a rehash, recycled strategy,” read the statement.

Villar’s lawyer Ma. Nalen Rosero-Galang said this was a case of double jeopardy.

“Imagine, a previously dismissed case resurrected to suit the moment,” she said.

“How can a second plunder case be filed anew by a new set of complainants involving the same property?

“We therefore ask: Who are these people? Who are behind them? What are their motives? Even for the sake of argument that there was merit in the second complaint, the farmers should first establish their ownership of the 483-hectare property before the regional trial court.

“Like any other business concern, the Capitol Bank was not spared by the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. As a result, the bank was forced to seek an emergency loan from the BSP in 1998.

“In return, the Capitol Bank assigned to the BSP its receivables and other collaterals in the form of real estate properties. This is in conformity with the BSP requirements and existing applicable laws and regulations.”

A group of farmers from Norzagaray, Bulacan said they charged Senator Villar with plunder in his capacity as stockholder of the family-owned Optimum Development Bank (formerly Capitol Development Bank).

Their lawyers said Senator Villar was charged with plunder because the BSP loan to the bank “involved public funds which was more than P50 million and that the securing of the unpaid loan was done through a series of loans and transactions.”

Named co-respondent was Villar’s wife, Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, ODB president.

Others charged were Anacordita Magno, ODB first vice president; Arturo de los Santos, ODB executive vice president; and Andres Rustia, BSP Department of Loans and Credit, and Asset Management Department managing director.

In their complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman last Sept. 26, the farmers said that Representative Villar and Magno – in their capacity as bank executives – managed to secure a loan from the BSP amounting to almost P1.5 billion – P1.17 billion on April 22, 1998 and P332 million on April 24, 1998.

Based on the promissory notes signed by Rep. Villar and Magno, they promised to pay their loan after six months at an interest rate of 14.957 percent per annum, according to the complaint.

However, the complaint said the bank failed to pay the loan and a deed of real estate mortgage on a 485-hectare agricultural land in Norzagaray, Bulacan was entered into by the bank and Manila Brickworks, Inc., represented by De los Santos, in favor of the BSP, represented by Rustia.

“Records show that Lots 1-9 titles of the real estate mortgage were issued through the relocation plan of Lots 1-9 Sc-11202-D as surveyed for Palmera Homes, Inc. dated April 27, 1995. Palmera Homes is one of the many subdivisions owned by Senator Villar and his wife, Cynthia,” read the complaint.

The farmers are disputing ownership of the 484-hectare land before the Malolos Regional Trial Court.

“But it was only in 2007 that the complainant-farmers learned about the so-called nine transfer certificate of titles (TCT) covering the 484 hectares of land which is now being claimed by the BSP as their property after the foreclosure proceedings it conducted against the CDB,” the farmers said in a statement.

“The complainant-farmer learned about the BSP’s claim when they filed before the Malolos RTC a reconstitution of their land titles after the records of land titles in Norzagaray were burned in a fire that destroyed the building which houses the Registry of Deeds.”

In the case before the Bulacan RTC, the farmers questioned the TCTs in the BSP’s possession since the date of issuance of the sales patent on July 17, 1944 and the date of issuance of the original certificate title on July 25, 1944 “took place when there was no civil government in the Philippines,” which was then under Japanese occupation.

At the Senate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Nacionalista Party secretary-general, said they would like the proper committees to handle the investigation into the charges against Villar.

“I think all the businesses of Senator Villar are declared and they are easy to see,” he said.

“But he will not be the only one to answer all the cases against him but his companies as well.”

‘Palace can’t wash its hands’

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said yesterday Malacañang could not wash its hands of the issue of double funding for the C-5 Road extension project since it was responsible for the disbursement of government funds.

“When the first appropriation was released out of the two funds for the same project, they said the other one was put on hold, meaning savings,” he said.

“Who uses savings? The one who holds the money. Maybe (we should) ask the President to assure the people she’ll not misuse the money for purposes for which it was not intended.”

Former budget secretary Benjamin Diokno said the funds could even be used for the 2010 national elections.

“Like what they did in public works in the 2008 budget, P17 billion was added by the congressmen and senators, while P9 billion was cut from foreign-assisted projects,” he said.

“You can release that in the last quarter of 2009 in time for the first quarter of 2010,” he said.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said she would file a bill to promote transparency and accountability in passing the budget.

“In 2009, President Arroyo may release these P11.5-billion insertions,” she said.

“By 2010, each project may continue to be implemented. Hence, I strongly suspect that most of these secret projects are going to be used by incumbent legislators for the 2010 elections.”

At Malacañang, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza and Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. debunked claims that the Palace could benefit from the double allocation, since the P200 million added on could become part of President Arroyo’s discretionary funds.

Andaya said the controversy should be kept in the Senate and that the charge that Mrs. Arroyo would use the savings for other purposes was pure speculation and an attempt to muddle the issue.

“While the search for truth on the C-5 issue touches on aspects of budget execution, it is, however, unfair to make the Office of the President part of collateral damage of an intra-chamber dispute,” he said.

Andaya said DBM did not release the P200 million after discovering the double allocation.

Malacañang could not use the “impounded” P200 million for political gains, he added.

Those responsible “should face the music and must not bail out by blaming others for the mistake they committed,” Andaya said. – Edu Punay, Aurea Calica (PStar)

Editorial Cartoon: Magnanakaw

October 1, 2008

They’re both the same.

Relieved by Enrile panel finding in C-5 case, says Villar

October 1, 2008

By HANNAH L. TORREGOZA

Senate President Manuel Villar Jr. yesterday expressed satisfaction over the findings of the Senate Finance Committee that investigated the alleged irregular double entry of P200 million for the C-5 Road Extension project in the 2008 national budget.

Villar, who has been implicated in the controversy by opposition Sen. Panfilo Lacson, said he and his family felt relieved after Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, chairman of the Finance Committee, said no evidence of wrongdoing was found or established during Monday’s hearing.

“Ako ay natutuwa sa nangyari kahapon na naestablish na wala tayong kinalaman diyan at wala tayong mali na ginawa doon,” Villar said.

Villar also shrugged off threats by the Senate minority bloc to lodge a complaint against him before the Ethics Committee in connection with the controversy.

The Senate President said he was the aggrieved party and should have been the one to file a complaint against those who tried to destroy him, his credibility, his family, and the Senate’s integrity.

“Napatunayan nga na wala kang kasalanan, bakit pa pahahabain?” Villar said. “Kung tutuusin ninyo, ako dapat ang masama ang loob sa nangyari, pero hindi na lang ako kumikibo dahil ang mahalaga sa akin ngayon ay ang institusyon ng Senado at napakarami pa nating problema sa ating bayan ngayon.”

“Napakarami pong naghihintay kung anong mangyayari sa atin sa krisis na nangyayari sa Amerika,” he said.

Lacson, in an interview, said opposition senators are bent on filing a complaint before the Ethics Committee to question an apparent conflict of interest in the controversy.

“Wala naman sa jurisdiction ng Finance Committee yung conflict of interest. Iyon para sa amin, mga public officials, mas importanteng issue iyon. Pero hindi iyon natalakay simply because wala sa jurisdiction ng Finance Committee,” he said.

“Dapat talakayin yung acts of impropriety sa Ethics Committee. So, kung may mga evidence, kung may mga hard evidence, at may pumapasok na mga ebidensya pointing to conflict of interest, then we will bring the matter before the Ethics Committee of the Senate,” Lacson said.

DBM: Bicameral panel should explain double insertion

By DAVID CAGAHASTIAN

Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said yesterday members of the bicameral committee on the 2008 national budget should explain the P200 million double insertion for the C5 road project that the Senate investigation last Monday revealed.

The head of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said members of the bicameral committee should explain the P200 million insertion, and that Malacanang should not be blamed for it because the Executive branch does not interfere in deliberations on the budget at the bicameral committee level.

“Why shift the blame to Malacanang? It has nothing to do with the insertion. The DBM is not even a member of the bicameral conference committee,” Andaya said.

“We will hold the amount in question until the Senate or the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) can provide us with information explaining to us sufficiently what this additional amount is for,” he said.

Andaya said those responsible for the insertions should “face the music and must not bail out by blaming others for the mistake they committed.”

The Senate investigation on the C-5 extension project confirmed that a duplicate entry of P200 million was inserted in the 2008 national budget at the bicameral committee level.

Although the P200 million double entry for the C5 project was included and passed in the 2008 national budget, the DBM said the amount could not be disbursed, nor could it be classified as savings then spent for purposes that are not included in the 2008 national budget.

“The amount is appropriated specifically for the C-5 extension project and that is where it should be used,” DBM Assistant Secretary Verbo Bonilla said in a statement.

“Even if it is declared as savings, budget rules prevent the amount to be used for other items outside the regular programs in the Appropriations Act,” Bonilla said.

Meanwhile, lawmakers yesterday urged the DBM to release the additional P200 million earmarked for the completion of the C-5 road extension project which is expected to benefit thousands of commuters.

Parañaque City Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, whose district stands to benefit from the opening of the C5-South Luzon Expressway link road, said he sees no reason why the DBM should continue to withhold the funds for the project.

Party-list Representatives Joel Villanueva of Citizens Battle Against Corruption and Mujiv Hataman of Anak Mindanao agreed with Zialcita.

Villanueva cited “public interest” in calling for the “speedy but transparent completion” of the project. (with a report by Edmer F. Panesa) (ManilaBulletin)

Ping to Manny: See you at ethics panel

October 1, 2008

BY DENNIS GADIL

SEN. Panfilo Lacson yesterday said Senate President Manuel Villar is liable for conflict of interest in pushing for the C-5 road extension project.

Lacson has accused Villar of sponsoring a law while the latter was still a congressman from Las Piñas that mandated the infusion of billions in government money into two housing finance institutions with which his companies did business.

He said now that the investigation of the Senate finance committee on the double entry mess has unmasked Villar as the one who pushed for the additional P200 million for the road extension under the 2008 budget, the battleground shifts to the ethics committee where evidence can be presented.

But Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago thinks otherwise.

“I disagree that this (conflict of interest issue) is a proper matter for the jurisdiction of the ethics committee because our Senate rules provide that ethics committee exercises jurisdiction only if the language or behavior is so-called un-parliamentary, that is to say that the behavior in this case is offensive to a senator or derogates the Senate as an institution,” she said.

Villar, in an interview, expressed relief that the Senate finance committee found no wrongdoing about the insertion in the 2008 budget.

“Wala tayong mali na ginawa doon. Yun pa naman ang aking unang sinasabi na wala talagang anomalya diyan,” he said.

Villar said he hoped his colleagues would no longer bring the matter to the ethics panel chaired by Pia Cayetano.

Malacañang chided Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and former budget secretary Benjamin Diokno for saying that the Executive branch would benefit from the P200 million insertion.

“The Executive doesn’t know why the P200 million insertion was made… The DBM is not even a member of the bicameral conference committee,” Budget Secretary Rolando G. Andaya Jr. said.

“We will hold the amount in question until the Senate or DPWH can provide us with information explaining to us sufficiently what this additional amount is for,” he added, reiterating that the DBM has not released the second P200 million allocation after it discovered the double entry.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said critics should rise above partisan considerations and refrain from making speculative statements.

“The Palace made it clear from the outset that it will not allow any illegal release of any fund, much less benefit from it.”

Reps. Eduardo Zialcita (Lakas, Parañaque City) and Joel Villanueva (PL-Citizens Battle Against Corruption) urged Malacañang to release the second P200 million so that the C-5 Road extension project that would link South Luzon Expressway to Sucat Road would be finished.

They said it would be unfair to commuters, motorists and the transport sector if the project implementation is held hostage by controversies relative to the allegations of double insertion.

“DBM is duty-bound to implement the national budget. It cannot be selective in its implementation. The money to complete the project should be released without delay. There’s no reason why the funds should be put on hold,” said Zialcita, vice president for recruitment of Lakas-CMD.

Villanueva said public interest should be the prevailing consideration particularly as the project has a big potential impact on the traffic condition in southern Metro Manila cities and municipalities.

“After SLEX, Coastal Road and the old Quirino Highway, which are all congested with traffic, the C-5 extension is only main road in and out of Parañaque, Las Piñas and Cavite,” he said. – With Jocelyn Montemayor and Peter J.G. Tabingo (Malaya)

Editorial Cartoon: (Presidentiable War) Who’s The Victim?

September 28, 2008

We always are.

Editorial Cartoon: (Presidentiable War) Velarde’s Warning

September 26, 2008

Not a joke

Editorial Cartoon: (Presidentiable War) Lacson’s Gift

September 24, 2008

Villar is being groomed as admin bet.

Villar survived fresh coup attempt

September 23, 2008

Without much fuss, Senate President Manuel Villar, Jr. escaped another minority-led move to unseat him.

Senators Miriam Santiago and Juan Enrile, both part of majority bloc, confirmed this, and stopping short of naming the senator who tipped her about the plan, Santiago revealed that “he is an administration senator like me.”

Reports confirmed a “recruitment operations” to get the number against Villar, and Senator Revilla Jr, was among the approached. He reportedly rejected the idea outright.

But Senator Loren Legarda denied the rumors saying that the Senate has better things to do than Push for Villar’s ouster.
Legarda said she is in for an investigation of the “insertion” in the 2008 budget but not on moves to oust Villar.
Santiago, meanwhile, stressed that Villar will remain as Senate president as long as he enjoys the support of the majority of the senators.
Enrile, for his part, said nobody has approached him because of his declared full support for Villar.
“Nobody has offered me. Nobody has talked to me. And I’m still a member of the majority and I intend to be a member of the majority. There is no reason for me to turn my back on him. I’m not like that. When I work with people, I work with them full faith and credit,” Enrile added. (BarangayRP)

Editorial Cartoon: (2010 Polls) Presidential War, Villars Road

September 17, 2008

To Nowhere?  To Malacañan maybe teheee.

Villar: ‘I asked more money for C-5 extension but not P200M’

September 16, 2008

By Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 20:25:00 09/16/2008

MANILA, Philippines — After being embroiled in controversy over the double entry in the 2008 budget of a P200-million item for the C-5 road extension, Senate President Manuel Villar on Tuesday admitted seeking more funds for the project but denied requesting a specific amount.

“I have never denied [asking for funds] which is why I wonder [when I am asked] why I have not admitted it,” Villar told a group of reporters Tuesday evening. “I said I requested [more funds for the] C-5 but I never said I requested P200 million, there never was an amount.”

“Not P200 million,” he said.

Villar was linked to the double entry on Monday by Senator Panfilo Lacson, who said the duplication of the P200 million constituted “corruption committed right in this hall, involving one of us, plain and simple.”

After Lacson’s expose, Villar denied being the proponent of the C-5 project, saying he was merely an advocate.

But Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, pointed to Villar as the one who requested for additional funding for the road extension project.

Asked about Enrile’s statement, Villar said he had, indeed, sought more money for the C-5 project.

“The problem is, they are talking about an insertion, but where will you make the insertion?” he added. “That’s why I don’t use the word insertion because where will you make the insertion, to be fair. For example, you say finish work on the PGH [Philippine General Hospital]. What is that? Is that an insertion?”

“Which is why all this is a mistake in the budget process only; a simple matter blow out of proportion,” he said. “It is being insinuated that I profited from the insertions, as if I had a plan.”

Villar said he had long been advocating the completion of the C-5 but had never requested a specific amount.

Explaining the budget process, Villar said lawmakers merely convey to the finance committee the requests they receive from various sectors. The committee then determines who much goes to fund projects or programs.

“We are the ones who relay the [requests] and then, it depends how much [the committee] gives, if it gives at all,” he said. “Number one, it depends if they give; Number 2, how much they give; and Number 3, how they will give.”

Thus, while he did ask for more money for the C-5 extension, Villar said, “as to how much will be given, I don’t know. If they give P200 million more, that’s welcome. Even the DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways] said that would be welcome.”

==============

My Take:

Senator Villar knows how to build houses but certainly not roads. teheeee.

Third Force eyes 2010 polls

August 18, 2008

New ‘Reform Coalition’ to give options

By Efren L. Danao, Senior Reporter

A third force called “Reform Coalition” is now being organized so as not to limit voters to just administration and opposition candidates in the 2010 elections, Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan said Sunday.

“This coalition will build a reform constituency so that public-sector groups for reforms can join hands with church groups, non-government organizations, civil society and students,” he told The Manila Times.

Pangilinan would not say if the Reform Coalition would merely adopt a presidential candidate in 2010 or field its own. It also was not clear if the coalition would seek accreditation from the Commission on Elections, or Comelec.

“We haven’t discussed those issues yet,” the Senator explained.

He said he has been going around the country trying to cobble up the “Reform Coalition,” and that he has been receiving an encouraging response.

The Senator identified Pam­panga Gov. Ed Panlilio, Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca, Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, the Movement for Good Governance, some local officials and the Bayan Muna party-list as among those that are also actively pushing for a coalition of reformists.

“The victory of Among Ed, Mayor Robredo and Gov. Padaca showed that people looking for reforms look beyond the candidates of the traditional political parties,” he said.

He also cited a recent survey on perceived presidential aspirants by the USAID, the American government’s aid agency, showing that 45 percent of the respondents picked “none of the above.” Pangilinan said the survey results were not made public, but he was shown a copy.

Among those eying the presidency in 2010 are Vice President Noli de Castro, Senate President Manny Villar Jr., Mayor Jejomar Binay of Makati City and Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd. Even former President Joseph Estrada, who was booted out of power and later convicted of plunder, said he might run if the opposition fails to rally behind one candidate for the Palace.

Pangilinan took this to mean that an increasing number of people are getting disenchanted with political parties as instruments for reforms. He added that the people’s hopes for reforms after EDSA 1 and EDSA 2 were all dashed mainly because leaders and political parties had pursued the politics of accommodation. EDSA is Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, where bloodless revolutions ousted the late President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and Estrada in 2001.

“Our per capita income has not increased in the last 20 years,” Pangilinan added. “The issues we were raising 20 years ago when we were still students are still being raised by the students today. This means nothing has moved.”

People were seeking guidance and direction from national leaders that would take the country “out of the mess we are in,” but got no response, the Senator said.

“If we leave things as they are, I am not optimistic of genuine reforms after 2010. There will only be a change in administration but no reforms. The Reform Coalition will give a message of hope in getting the country out of this mess,” he said.

Genesis of reform

Pangilinan said the idea of a “Reform Coalition” was hatched during the 2007 senatorial elections. The coalition was supposed to be composed of candidates who were neither opposition nor administration. He identified them as then re-electionists Villar, Ralph Recto, Joker Arroyo and himself, along with Sonia Roco and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd, with Roxas as campaign manager.

“We were close to making it happen,” Pangilinan said. “That attempt failed because there was no reform constituency formed around it. Things will be different in 2010.”

Sen. Arroyo and Recto joined the administration ticket. Villar was nominally in the opposition ticket, while Pangilinan campaigned as an independent. Roco and Aquino sided with the opposition.

After the 2007 elections, Pangi­linan rejected any executive post in the Liberal Party after it identified itself as opposition.

The Liberals had endorsed the impeachment of then-President Estrada, Pangilinan said, adding that he did not want the party to join the group led by the former president.

End personality politics

Pangilinan continues to describe himself as “independent,” although he officially remains a member of the Liberal Party.

He said he believes that creating a reform constituency would end personality-oriented elections in the country. He added that elections had been personality-oriented because the political parties had defaulted on their obligations to the electorate.

“The raising of issues is not the voters’ function but the candidates’, and the candidates’ message had always been the same—vote for me,” the Senator said.

He also noted that people are no longer being swayed by huge television advertisements during an election campaign.

“In 2007, only four of the 12 big spenders won. Television exposure alone will not make a candidate win,” he said.(ManilaTimes)

==================

My Take:

Well, as usual, the political outcast, babbles for the formation of a political third force.  Pangilinan surely is putting is best foot forward to take his chance for the Presidency.

Well, I must admit, its a good strategy, specially now that both administration and traditional political opposition are not looking so handsome in the eyes of the Filipino people.

But surely, im not praying for him to win.  Because my pray will surely get a “noted” response to this mega-senator.

Villar open to coalition with Lakas party in 2010

August 4, 2008

By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:51:00 08/03/2008

MANILA, Philippines–Senate President Manuel Villar has declared himself and the Nacionalista Party (NP) he heads open to an alliance in 2010—even with the administration bloc.

“It’s hard to limit our choice of partner because we have not started anything. We are not closing our door to anything,” said Villar in an interview with reporters.

“We have to keep our options open because that is the only way we can establish our independence.”

Linking up with the Lakas-CMD the administration coalition, was a possibility, Villar said, depending on what President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would do—whether she would support one or two candidates, or not support anyone at all.

Villar said he fully expected former president Joseph Estrada, who remains popular, not to support any candidate who would join the administration party or tie up with the administration in a coalition.

“Anything is possible. President Erap is a close friend that I respect. At the right time, we will talk about this,” said Villar on the possibility of fighting Estrada for the presidency in 2010.

Estrada is reportedly toying with the idea of running for president again in 2010 if the opposition fails to come up with a common candidate.

Villar ranked fifth in a recent Pulse Asia survey on presidential candidates for 2010. The survey was topped by Vice President Noli de Castro, Estrada and Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda.

But Villar conceded it was still “too early” to talk about political partnerships, saying the best time would be a year from now or the middle of 2009.

In the meantime, he said that he would focus on keeping his post as Senate President.

An attempt to replace him was foiled earlier this month. It would take 13 senators to replace him.

“These coups do come often, but I believe I have the support of my friends,” he said.

Villar ran for the Senate and won on the opposition ticket but the anti-administration bloc was split on the choice of Senate President. Villar won the post with the support of the administration bloc.

Loren, Chiz firm up tandem

July 7, 2008

Pairings for president, vice president for 2010 getting clearer

By Efren L. Danao, Senior Reporter

Already the pairings for president and vice president are starting to come together, as a team-up between Senators Loren Legarda and Francis “Chiz” Escudero in 2010 appears to be firming up.

Both Legarda and Escudero have consistently ranked high in surveys on preferred presidential candidates. But Escudero hinted that should he run, it would be in tandem with Legarda and that they would never be rivals for the same position.

“If I were to choose a presidential candidate, it will be Loren. For whatever reason, Loren and I will always be together. In running, we won’t be apart,” he told The Manila Times.

Legarda had never acknowledged her interest in running for president, but she has already rejected any suggestion that she would run for vice president again.

“I already ran for vice president in 2004 and won,” said Legarda, who has never conceded defeat to Vice President Noli de Castro. She filed an election protest contesting the results.

Legarda and Escudero belong to the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), although at the Senate, Legarda is with the minority and Escudero, with the majority. Legarda was number one in 2007, having won the most number of votes among all the senatorial bets. Escudero was number two.

Escudero does not believe Joseph Estrada would run even if the former president has been saying that he would if the opposition fails to unite behind a single opposition candidate for the Palace. Escudero predicted that there would be no one-on-one contest between the opposition and the administration in the 2010 presidential election, “since no incumbent is running, and there is the question on who is really an opposition.”

Other bets, pairings

Among the expected presidential candidates are de Castro, Senate President Manuel Villar Jr. of the Nacionalista Party, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd of the Liberal Party, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and Legarda. Sen. Richard Gordon and Mayor Jejomar Binay of Makati have also shown keen interest in running.

Political pundits see a likely pairing between de Castro with either Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan or Sen. Bong Revilla Jr.; Villar with either Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada or Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan; Roxas with Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd; and Lacson with Sen. Jamby Madrigal.

If the election were held today, Escudero would be the runaway winner for vice president based on his popularity in recent surveys, with Pangilinan a far second.

Escudero acknowledged that with so many likely tickets, the NPC might find it difficult to field a complete senatorial slate. However, he does not believe that this would affect the chances of the party in the 2010 election.

“Did FVR [former President Fidel V. Ramos] field a complete slate in 1992?” he asked. “Miriam, who may have won in 1992, did not have a complete slate. Speaker Ramon V. Mitra had a complete senatorial slate in 1992 and [so did] Speaker Jose de Venecia in 1998, but they both lost.”(ManilaTimes)

Editorial Cartoon: Politiko

June 25, 2008

Mga tantarado.

Villar declares 2010 presidential bid

June 7, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

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DAGUPAN CITY – Senate President Manuel Villar Jr. declared here his “99 percent” preparations for the presidential elections in 2010.

According to Villar, president of the Nacionalista Party (NP), their slate is already complete with personalities from the ruling Lakas party complementing their senatorial lineup.

Without mentioning names, Villar said some Lakas stalwarts have applied with the NP seeking to run for the Senate in the 2010 elections.

Villar said the remaining one percent of his political plans for 2010 is reserved in case of a no-election scenario.

“The one percent is reserved on the possibility that no election occurs. What if it does not push through? What if there is no election?” he asked in jest.

Villar assured the public the elections will definitely push through but “you can never tell, someone might enjoy (extending the term of office).”

Villar stressed the NP have long prepared for the 2010 elections but it would be premature to disclose the possible bets.

“Because you can’t say yet who are with you. It’s still too early. For example, you already formed the ticket but there’s always the possibility that it has to be recast,” he said.

According to Villar, they have already 20 candidates in their list.

But Villar said he has not yet chosen who will be his running mate.

He said the door is still open for possible alliances with other political parties regarding the senatorial slate “but not for the (position of) president.” – Eva Visperas(PStar)