By Maila Ager
First Posted 17:46:00 11/29/2009
Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Politics, Inquirer Politics
MANILA, Philippines-- (UPDATE 2) Re-electionist Senator Miriam-Defensor Santiago, who is also a guest candidate of former President Joseph Estrada, has endorsed the presidential bid of Senator Manny Villar.
Santiago showed up at Sunday's proclamation rally of Villar in Tondo, Manila but not of Estrada, who also held the same event in the same venue.
"My name is Miriam Defensor-Santiago. And I'm a guest candidate of the Nacionalista Party under Senator Manny Villar," she said in her opening statement.
"Wala akong tanyag na pangalan pero hindi ako nagnakaw tulad nila," she said.
And Santiago claimed that Villar, who has been accused of using his position to benefit from the alleged overpriced construction of the C5 road extension project, has never stolen money from the government.
It was the rich people, she said, who have been robbing the government.
Santiago spent most of her speech criticizing the rich, whom she said were not actually good in English.
"Hindi marunong mag-English...Their IQ's are very low," she said.
Santiago vowed to continue her fight against graft and corruption should she win again in the upcoming elections.
Santiago will be running under the People’s Reform Party but is also a guest candidate of former President Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, Senator Manuel Villar’s Nacionalista Party, Senator Edgardo Angara’s Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, the National People’s Coalition, and the administration’s Lakas-Kampi-CMD Party.
Her speech and that of Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.s was the most applauded by the crowd.
In his speech, Marcos strongly criticized what he described as worse corruption under the present administration.
"Mas maraming nakaw, mas maraming kurakot...Halos lahat ay nagnakaw sa kaban ng bayan," said Marcos, son of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
It was now time, he said, for a new leadership, specifically pointing to the current Senate leadership.
"Hindi na yung trapo na walang ginawa kundi magpasikat, magpaimbestiga. Ipadala na lang yang mahahangin na yan sa Ilocos para magpaikot sa windmill," Marcos added.
Hundreds of people, most of them wearing orange t-shirts, gathered in Tondo, Manila for Villar’s proclamation rally.
The event was held at the Macario Sakay Plaza, in front of Villar's old house.
Villar formally presented his nine senatorial bets for 2010-- Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., and Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Adel Tamano, Susan Ople, Gwendolyn Pimentel,Ramon "Mon-Mon" Mitra, and detained Colonel Ariel Querubin. Only Revilla is absent during the proclamation. Querubin, meanwhile was represented by his son, Martin. Villar's running mate, Senator Loren Legarda also joined him.
Manila vice mayor Isko Moreno was all praises for Villar when he gave his opening speech. Villar, Moreno said, was the only presidential aspirant who experienced how to live in poverty. Villar and Moreno both grew up in Tondo, manila.
"Pagiging mahirap lang ba ang qualification? Maaring hindi. May karanasan din siya (Villar). Hindi hinango sa magulang kung hindi sa sariling pagsisikap," he said in apparent reference to another presidential aspirant, Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, son of the late President Corazon Aquino and martyred Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.
Showbiz personalities present to grace the event were TV host Valerie Conception, rapper Andrew E and Willie Revillame.