Monday, December 21, 2009

Pacquiao defends move to join NP

By Cathy C. Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:27:00 12/22/2009

Filed Under: Pacquiao, Inquirer Politics, Eleksyon 2010

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines—Boxing king Manny Pacquiao on Monday night defended his decision to join the Nacionalista Party, saying President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term was ending and he had to look for another candidate for president to support in the May election.

Pacquiao, running for the congressional seat in Sarangani province, spoke to the Inquirer at an NP meeting in Mandaluyong City where he and party standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar signed an agreement to support each other’s candidacies.

“I did not turn my back on Ma’am (Ms Arroyo) but her term is ending ... I have to support another president,” Pacquiao said in Filipino.

Asked how Ms Arroyo reacted to his decision, he said: “Nothing. We all have to make decisions of our own.”

Pacquiao was a former member of Ms Arroyo’s Kampi party.

Pacquiao arrived two hours late for the NP meeting, accompanied by his wife Jinkee, who wore a body-hugging red blouse and denim pants.

Before the affair began, whoops of delight were heard from the crowd as Kilusan Bagong Lipunan senatorial candidate Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. approached party-list Representatives Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.

The three are NP guest candidates for senator.

Marcos shook hands with the two lawmakers, who had objected to his inclusion in the NP slate.

Maza said Marcos merely said ‘‘hello” but the encounter left her “stunned and uncomfortable.”

Talking earlier with reporters, Pacquiao said he had “no choice” but to team up with the NP because the Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition already had a candidate for the Sarangani seat.

In General Santos City, Pacquiao’s legal counsel Minvelez Gulle said Lakas made a last-ditch attempt to get the champion’s support but it had come too late and Pacquiao did not accept the nomination.

Asked why, Gulle said: “The public knows what’s going on in this country and the many scandals bugging the present leadership.” With a report from Aquiles Z. Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao

Original Story:

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