by Reynaldo Santos Jr., Newsbreak | 12/01/2009 3:17 PM
There are many re-electionists, so Lakas is fielding a short but ‘optimal’ list
Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer Gilbert 'Gibo' Teodro and running mate Edu Manzano beat the deadline for filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) Tueday, bringing with them the shortest senatorial slate for the 2010 polls.
Lakas has a 4-man senatorial slate consisting of re-electionists Lito Lapid, Ramon Revilla Jr., broadcaster Rey Langit, and league of mayors’ president Pangasinan Mayor Ramon Guico Jr..
Only Guico, a cousin of President Arroyo, filed with Teodoro and Manzano.
Lapid and Langit filed their COCs Friday and Monday, respectively, although Langit still accompanied Teodoro and Manzano to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Revilla, who’s listed as a guest candidate of the opposition Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino, also filed his COC Tuesday, later than his Lakas party mates.
Despite its fewer “senatoriables,” Teodoro said that the party offers “balanced reform” and “concrete platforms.”
‘Let’s not experiment’
"Ito ang panahon ng subok na na liderato. Hindi namin kayo bibiguin (This is the time for tested leadership. We won’t fail you)," Teodoro told reporters.
If he wins, Teodoro said his will be a “liderato ng paghihilom and hindi pagbebenggansya (healing, not vengeful, leadership).”
His running mate, Manzano, said this is not the time for the country to experiment with the kind of leader they will elect. Teodoro—a former congressman, defense chief, and chair of the disaster response body—has a good track record in governance, he said.
“This is the time na 'di na pwedeng nag-eexperimento. [This is] the kind of leadership na inyong hinahanap (We cannot be experimenting this time),” Manzano said.
Teodoro’s slate brings the smallest senatorial team, as compared with other political parties. Manuel Villar has 8 senatorial candidates plus 1 guest candidate; Joseph Estrada has 6 bets plus 2 guests; Benigno Aquino III has 5 candidates plus 4 guests; JC delos Reyes has 7 bets; and, Eduardo Villanueva has 5.
There have been speculations that Lakas is fielding token national candidates because its agenda is to push for a shift to a parliamentary form of government, where the powers will be vested in the prime minister, and the president will have ceremonial duties.
The speculations were fueled once more when President Arroyo filed for congresswoman of Pampanga, a position that can lead to her being Speaker of the House, the equivalent of a Prime Minister under a unicameral parliamentary system.
However, Teodoro said that the 4-man senatorial slate minimal number of candidates in his senatorial team is "the most optimal number that the party could have."
The Lakas standard-bearer was referring to the fact that there are a number of senators running for re-election and are therefore considered sure winners, so there may not be too many winnable slots next year. Thus, Lakas is realistically targetting only 4 slots.
The party, however, is open to having guest senatorial candidates, Teodoro said.
Although considered a serious and major candidate, being the standard-bearer of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party, Teodoro is lagging behind in popularity surveys. The latest Social Weather Stations poll showed him with being preferred by only 4% of respondents, compared to the double-digit ratings of the other candidates.
Teodoro said that he has faith in the maturity of voters in choosing their leader. “I'm very confident that the people will realize the value of tested performance, with a good platform of balanced reform.” (Newsbreak)
as of 12/01/2009 3:17 PM