Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NPC won’t back any presidential bet –official

By Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:35:00 12/29/2009

Filed Under: Politics, Eleksyon 2010

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20091229-244434/NPC-wont-back-any-presidential-bet-official

No presidential candidate will enjoy the support of the country’s second-largest party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), in next year’s elections, Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco said on Monday.

Cojuangco, son of the party’s founder Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, said the NPC was happy being independent and not being tied down to anyone. The group has, thus, decided not to team up with any of the presidential aspirants so that it could work with whoever would win the elections.

“Officially, our stand is we’re not carrying a presidential candidate,” Cojuangco said in a phone interview.

“It does not serve our purpose. We have our independence, we have our own identity. It will not be served by coalescing with anybody. We stand for our own platform...We will rather just work with who wins,” he added.

The Cojuangcos have two relatives seeking the presidency—Sen. Benigno Aquino III of the Liberal Party and former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro of the administration’s Lakas-Kampi CMD.

Not binding

But the NPC’s vice presidential candidate, Sen. Loren Legarda, is the running mate of Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar. The NPC had allowed Legarda to team up with whomever she likes following the decision of Sen. Francis Escudero to bolt the party and withdraw from the presidential derby.

But her decision did not bind the party to support Villar.

The NPC has two senatorial candidates—former Sen. Vicente Sotto, who is well-within the Magic 12 in recent surveys, and Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza.

The NPC is also fielding 100 candidates for the more than 200 seats in the House of Representatives, according to Valenzuela Rep. Rex Gatchalian, the party’s spokesperson.

“We’re also concentrating on the local, that’s why we have so many congressional candidates deployed,” Gatchalian said.

Force to reckon with

At present, the NPC has over 3,000 incumbent officials nationwide, a force that could be a great asset to an aspiring president. They include one senator, 28 representatives, eight governors, nine vice-governors, 88 board members, 20 city mayors, 17 city vice mayors, 162 city councilors, 448 municipal mayors, 471 municipal vice mayors and 2,276 municipal councilors.

Cojuangco said the NPC would cooperate with the next president as long as their stand on issues jibe. He added the NPC has enough in common with the candidates for president that they would be able to find things to collaborate on after the elections.

He said the NPC does not want to make enemies now by singling out a presidential candidate to support.

While there were some people, who had made informal overtures to the party for a possible team-up, the NPC was not receptive to the idea, said. Cojuangco.

He also noted that the NPC already tried to enter the race for the presidency, but its plans got waylaid by Escudero’s departure.

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20091229-244434/NPC-wont-back-any-presidential-bet-official

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