By ROLLY T. CARANDANG
October 30, 2009, 4:50pm
With barely a month before the deadline for the filing of certificate of candidacy, Nationalista Party President Senator Manny Villar said his party is still in the stage of searching for his possible running mate in the May 2010 polls but reiterated his willingness to accept any potential vice presidential candidate including Senators Loren Legarda and Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
“There is a committee in our party (NP) that will study, finalize and select my possible running mate,” Villar said in response to a question about his running mate during an open forum at the Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC) Presidential Series last Thursday night at the Intercon Hotel where he was the guest speaker.
Nevertheless, the Senator from Las Piñas emphasized that choosing his running mate is not a matter of great concern to him adding that the NP selection committee hopes to come up with his tandem by November 15. He added that choosing his senatorial line up will also be available in two weeks time.
Lately, a lot of speculations are spreading that Villar's running mate is narrowed down to Legarda and Escudero.
Asked what role or Cabinet post he would give to his vice president in case he wins the presidency, Villar said he likes his running mate to lead the crusade to save the environment. “I like someone who’s pro environment because you know I like trees, said Villar. This statement elicited laughter and applause, hinting that Villar was probably more interested to have Legarda as his running mate.
Senator Legarda is very popular about her advocacies about environment particularly on climate change. She boasted of having responsible for the planting of over one million trees nationwide behind her Clean and Green Program.
Pressed whom he likes to be his running mate between Legarda and Escudero, Villar simply smiled and said both senators are very qualified to become vice president.