Saturday, December 5, 2009

Noli eases succession fears

by Fel V. Maragay

Original Story:

Vice President Noli de Castro yesterday slammed the malicious remarks of administration allies that President Gloria Arroyo should not resign because her constitutional successor is not prepared to discharge the powers and duties of the presidency.

The remarks came in the wake of calls by opposition politicians for the President to relinquish her post after she filed her certificate of candidacy for congressman in the Second District of Pampanga purportedly to prevent her from using the resources of her office to promote her candidacy.

“I am the Vice President and I have a constitutional duty that I swore to perform. Recession or not, that duty remains,” De Castro said in a statement. “I have been with the Cabinet for almost six years and I have been a senator for three years and in public service for decades as a veteran in news and public affairs.”

De Castro would have been the administration candidate for president in the 2010 elections had he accepted the offer of Lakas-Kampi stalwarts to take on this role. He was also being groomed by Nacionalista Party president and standard- bearer Manuel Villar to be his running mate.

Instead, De Castro opted not to run for any public office. He said after his term expires on June 30, 2010, he plans to go back to his old job as television and radio newscaster at the ABS-CBN broadcast network.

De Castro said his decision not to pursue his presidential ambition should not be construed to mean that he was not up to the job. “Rather than cast doubt on constitutional succession, those who question my capability should look at the mirror first to see what they have done for their constituents.”

Former Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto rebuked De Castro’s critics who belittled his capability and presidential qualities.

“We can prop up the President without putting down the Vice President. VP Castro has done well as housing czar and as overseer of the overseas Filipino workers’ affairs,” he said.

De Castro, according to Recto, has been in public office long enough to master the nuances of statecraft.

“Those who have attended Cabinet meetings will attest to his active participation and substantial inputs in policy formulation. The President’s defenders can think of many reasons on why she shouldn’t resign but the bogey that Kabayan is ill-prepared to be president is certainly not one of them.”

Original Story:

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