Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Close, but no cigar: FVR half-endorses Gibo

Original Story:

Former President Fidel Ramos is all praises for the administration’s presidential bet Gilberto Teodoro Jr. for taking decisive actions in response to the Nov. 23 massacre of 57 civilians in Maguindanao.

Ramos, who like Teodoro had served as defense secretary, said Teodoro’s boldness and act of courage “constitute what leadership is all about.”

“This is what the country needs in times of crises—the country needs leaders who can take risks,” the former president said, stopping short of publicly endorsing Teodoro’s presidential bid.

For instance, Ramos said Teodoro wasted no time in initiating the expulsion of the Ampatuans from the ruling party, Lakas-Kampi CMD.

Ramos also commended Teodoro for volunteering to act as legal counsel to the families of victims of the Maguindanao massacre in the court cases that are expected to be filed against the perpetrators.

“This is something to be admired. While the other presidential aspirants merely condemned the massacre as was expected, it was Teodoro who displayed the boldness and the courage to immediately rush to Maguindanao even before the Armed Forces and the National Police moved to clear the province of its private armies and arms stockpile,” Ramos said upon arriving yesterday from Australia.

“Where are they?” asked Ramos in apparent reference to the other presidential candidates.

Liberal Party presidential candidate Senator Benigno Aquino and his running mate, Senator Manuel Roxas II, have personally sought the endorsement of Ramos but the former president politely declined.

Mr. Ramos had said he would choose his personal bet a few months before the presidential election.

As this developed, the socio-civic organization “Friends of Ramos” have formally endorsed Teodoro’s candidacy for president.

The group, which helped Ramos capture the presidency in 1992, has renamed itself Friends of Ramos for Teodoro or FORT. “Teodoro’s human rights advocacy to uphold the dignity and worth of every human being, regardless of status, was manifested in his grassroots beginnings in Tarlac and as Kabataang Barangay president in Central Luzon, both for six years,” FORT national president Maricor Imperial said.

It cited Teodoro’s performance as former defense chief and chairman of National Disaster Coordinating Council “during the darkest hours of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng have endeared him to thousands of victims whose lives he touched.” Joyce Pangco PaƱares

Original Story:

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