Monday, November 30, 2009

Gordon, Fernando don’t want to be VP

PRESIDENTIAL aspirants Senator Richard Gordon and former Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando are in talks to forge an alliance in 2010, but neither seems ready to drop to running for vice president.

Gordon yesterday said Fernando had agreed to be his running mate, but Fernando said he was still trying to convince the senator to be his vice presidential bet.

“There are ongoing talks with the senator. I don’t deny that,” Fernando told a radio interview.

But Gordon, in another interview over the same station, said he met with Fernando several times in his Senate office and in his house in Olongapo City.

“We talked and I tried to convince him to be my vice president,” he said. “If I do run, it would be as president or senator, and not vice president.”

Former Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane backed out of the presidential race, acknowledging that he didn’t have enough funds to wage a national campaign.

“After much reflection, I have decided to formally end my presidential bid, ’’Ebdane told supporters at the University of the Philippines’ Alumni Hall in Quezon City.

“I have come to this decision to spare my friends, supporters and family from the agony and burden of joining a fight which we cannot win,”

Ebdane, who was supposed to announce his running mate and senatorial slate under the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka, caught his supporters by surprise.

“My survival training dictates that I assess the situation, take stock of my options and make a decision,” said Ebdane, who was comforted by his son Omar.

“Given the sudden changes and swift developments that have altered my own political options, my training tells me that this is the right time for the public servant to bow out.”

Ebdane’s campaign manager and former Labor Secretary Ruben Torres denied speculation that Ebdane, a former national police chief, decided to withdraw after he was unable to win the endorsement of former President Fidel Ramos, who like him was a former military man.

Torres said Ramos wasn’t expected to announce his endorsement until March next year.

Gordon said he might not have the resources of his moneyed rivals, but he had enough to wage a credible nationwide campaign.

In one day alone, he said, he was able to raise P17 million in contributions from his friends in the business sector.

But the former mayor of Olongapo City said he would not make a final decision to run until the last few hours of Dec. l, the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy. Fel V. Maragay, Joel Zurbano, Rio N. Araja


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