Friday, January 15, 2010

Atienza endorses Estrada's presidential bid


Original Story:

Former Environment Secretary Jose “Lito” Atienza and his Liberal Party (LP) faction are endorsing former President Joseph Estrada’s candidacy in the May 10 elections.

“Secretary Atienza is adopting and endorsing President Estrada for the presidential elections,” Margaux Salcedo, Estrada’s spokesman told the Tribune in a telephone interview.

In simple ceremonies held at the Atienza-backed LP party convention, they endorsed Estrada at the AWU compound at Port Area in Manila.

According to Salcedo, Estrada has accepted the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP)-LP Atienza wing coalition because the former president feels it is Atienza who will be able to carry out Estrada’s pro-poor program in Manila.

PMP spokesman lawyer Ralph Calinisan, in a statement, said “there is an urgent need to effect change in Manila. The residents of Manila deserve better governance.”

Also, in an attempt to clarify what really transpired before, Calinisan said, “Mayor Lim did not resign from the PMP. The PMP leadership removed him as president of the party.”

Estrada – as a testament of his forgiving nature - accepted Lim back to his fold even after the incumbent mayor of Manila was first to desert him in 2001, thinking that Lim would further the PMP’s pro-poor plans in Manila. The PMP and Estrada later on found that Lim had other “agenda.”

Lim battled it out with Estrada in the 1998 presidential race. In spite of such fact, Estrada subsequently appointed Lim as his Interior secretary.

Over the past couple of years, the PMP has received numerous reports of Lim’s transgressions with the poor while serving as Manila mayor. Calinisan noted that Lim totally forgot about the common people after he was elected into office.

Reports state, among others, that under Lim’s watch, housing projects in Baseco in Tondo and the housing project intended for teachers were discontinued. Also, hospital machines were ill-maintained and medicines were utterly lacking. Vendors pay stiff “fees” just to do business.

Calinisan further describes Lim’s pro-poor agenda as “wanting if not inexistent.”

“It is thus necessary to support a mayoralty candidate who has his priorities straight. Mayor Lito Atienza has proven many times over that he has what it takes to uplift the lives of the masses. We welcome Secretary Atienza’s bid to work with the PMP,” he added.

Atienza will run for mayor in Manila in this year’s election, a position he previously held for three consecutive terms — from 1998 to 2007.

He will be running against Lim and former Philippine National Police chief Avelino Razon Jr.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has allowed two presidential aspirants and four senatorial candidates the poll body earlier disqualified to run in the May 10 elections.

In a 26-page resolution, the Commission en banc reconsidered its earlier decision and allowed environmentalist Nicanor Perlas and Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) standard-bearer Vetallano Acosta to be in the roster of presidential candidates as they have proved their capabilities of waging a nationwide campaign.

This raised to 10 the number of presidential aspirants that made it to the Comelec’s final list of national candidates in the forthcoming automated elections.

For Perlas, the Comelec cited the candidate’s plan to finance a campaign via the Internet as well as his international stature as reasons for his application to be reconsidered.

“The filing of a certificate of candidacy (CoC) of a person with a distinguished track record in public service and has received numerous recognitions for his work both here and abroad cannot be said to have put the election process in mockery,” part of the resolution read.

“From the research made by (Perlas), Internet users in the country amount to almost 24 million and his strong, credible presence could be felt in the Internet through his numerous Web sites,” the resolution added.

Perlas, who personally heard the promulgation Thursday morning, welcomed the Comelec’s decision.

In approving Acosta’s application, the Comelec said his KBL party was earlier allowed to field candidates for other national positions for vice president and senators

“If the CoCs of KBL’s nominees for vice president and senators were given due course, there is no reason the commission should deny due course to Mr. Acosta’s CoC,” the poll body stressed.

“KBL is a political party duly registered with Comelec. (Acosta) alleged that KBL is ready and will wage and sustain a campaign using its nationwide organization and network of the party and its officers and campaign workers,” it added.

The KBL is fielding broadcaster Jay Sonza as the vice presidential tandem of Acosta together with their senatorial line-up composed of Shariff Albani, Alma Lood, Regalado Maambong, Maria Judea Millora, Imelda Papin and Hector Villanueva.

Acosta was not present during the promulgation of the resolution at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila.

With the inclusion of Perlas and Acosta in the list, they now have to battle it out with the other candidates running for the highest position in the land.

They are: Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of Liberal Party, John Carlos “JC” de los Reyes (Ang Kapatiran Party), Estrada (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino/United Opposition), Sen. Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan), Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva (Bangon Pilipinas), Sen. Manuel Villar (Nacionalista Party) and Sen. Jamby Madrigal, who is running as independent.

The Comelec also included four more names to the senatorial list, with the approval of the applications of former Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim of the Liberal Party, former Cebu Gov. Lito Osmeña, KBL’s Nanette Espinosa and Bangon Pilipinas Party’s Adz Nikabulin.

Lim, Espinosa and Nikabulin all proved they are either guest candidates or nominated by Comelec-accredited political parties while Osmeña cited his previous track record of running for a national position when he ran for president in 1998 and for vice president in 1992.

There are now 62 senatorial bets running in the May 2010 elections from the 158 who filed their CoCs last year.

The number of vice presidential aspirants, meanwhile, remains at eight. They are PDP-Laban Party’s Jejomar Binay, Ang Kapatiran’s Dominador Chipeco Jr., Bagumbayan’s Bayani Fernando, Nationalist People’s Coalition Party’s Loren Legarda, Lakas-Kampi-CMD Party’s Eduardo Manzano, Liberal Party’s Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, KBL’s Jay Sonza and Bangon Pilipinas Party’s Perfecto Yasay.

Jason Faustino, Marie Surbano and PNA

Original Story:

1 comment:

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