Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cojuangco party shuns Villar

by Christine F. Herrera

Original Story:

The Nationalist People’s Coalition formally endorsed Monday the vice presidential bid of Senator Loren Legarda but not the presidential candidacy of her running mate, Senator Manuel Villar.

The party let its members to decide for themselves who among the presidential bets to support. Party leader Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. is uncle to both presidential aspirants, Gilberto Teodoro of the ruling Lakas-Kampi, and Benigno Aquino III of the Liberal Party.

Villar’s party also had its share of absurdities. Two of its guest candidates, Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza, said they would support all the Nacionalista senatorial bets except Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Ocampo and Maza said in a statement that Marcos echoes his mother’s repeated claim that his family did nothing wrong in his father’s dictatorial rule when they have in so many ways obstructed the rendering of justice and indemnification to the victims of Marcos’ martial law.

NPC clarified why Villar was left out. “We are not imposing any particular presidential candidate on our members. The party has no position as far as presidential candidate is concerned,” Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco, son of the party chief, said at the NPC Christmas party in Manila.

This, despite the fact that Legarda, the NPC’s official candidate for vice president, was handpicked by Villar as his running mate.

Last month, the Cojuangco-led party lost its presidential hopeful, Senator Francis Escudero, who opted to run as an independent, only to drop out of the race altogether just before the filing of candidacies.

Instead of supporting a presidential bet, the NPC will focus its resources and effort on Legarda and congressional candidates, Cojuangco said.

The NPC also announced its support to the senatorial bids of Dangerous Drugs Board chairman Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza.

Around 300 party members attended the meeting and Christmas party held at their Quezon City clubhouse.

Party sources said majority of congressmen, governors and mayors prevailed upon the NPC leadership not to officially endorse Villar because most of them have committed themselves to support the presidential bid of Teodoro.

Teodoro obtained a loyal following in the NPC because he used to be a top ranking party official before he decided to transfer to Lakas-Kampi CMD.

Original Story:

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