Thursday, March 11, 2010

Villar ‘invented’ rags-to-riches tale—Erap camp


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The “rags-to-riches” story of Nacionalista Party standard bearer Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar is nothing but a fairy tale, scripted, produced and directed by the NP presidential candidate.

“Growing up in Tondo, selling prawns in a palengke (market) do not make a man poor,” the Estrada camp yesterday said in a statement.

Manny Villar not only stole the pro-poor slogan of former President Joseph Estrada but concocted his “I-am-poor” stories to boost his bid for the presidency, according to Margaux Salce-do, spokesman for Estrada.

“The orange color he is using and the ‘para sa mahirap’ slogan are not Villar’s original concepts. Those are Estrada’s. He (Villar) is capitalizing on them to the hilt. Filipino voters are intelligent, they know if the candidate is pretentious or sincere in his agenda,” Salcedo said.

The spokesman reiterated that Estrada, standard-bearer of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, is the true opposition in the real sense of the word.

“Estrada was persecuted, prosecuted and detained. Villar was part of that grand conspiracy. He joined President Arroyo in 2001 and was part of Edsa II,” Salcedo said.

Salcedo added the fact that Villar served as Senate president under the Arroyo government showed that he is not with the opposition.

“The Villarroyo accusation is true. Reports of his secret meetings with Gloria, administration money bankrolling his candidacy and his silence on issues against his biggest financier prove that Villar is the administration’s candidate and not Gilbert Teodoro, who is merely a pawn,”Salcedo said.

She explained that Villar’s rags to riches yarn has long deceived the poor. “Growing up in Tondo does not mean a person is poor. His family rented a stall for their prawn business, meaning they had the means. The fact that Villar studied in Holy Child Catholic School, a private school, meant they had the resources. He studied in Mapua which is also a private school. Is that what one calls poor?

“They were not really poor. They did not live in a shanty as you can see in his advertisement. Villar himself admitted that he only bought that house in Moriones last year which was used in his first advertisement that launched his candidacy,”Salcedo stressed, adding that Estrada did not come from a poor family but his heart is for the poor, having spent his childhood with people in the slum areas.

“President Estrada knows the sentiments of the poor. He knows their needs. His masa appeal is palpable and undeniable,” she stressed,

In Sangay, Camarines Sur, Estrada yesterday welcomed the report that he was the most covered presidential candidate in this year’s election --at least in the three weeks of February, starting from the official campaign period.

Estrada , when asked to comment on the report made by the Center for media Freedom and Responsibility, said the report was a surprise to him.

“Well that’s very surprising. I am trying my best to endear myself to the media,” he said.

According to the study, which was conducted from Feb. 9 to 27 this year, Estrada was the most covered presidential bet on television with a total of 36.29 minutes exposure during the period.

NP bet Villar came in second with 34.51 minutes; Lakas Kampi CMD bet former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro with 34.36; Liberal party bet Sen. Benigno Aquino III with 29.34; Bagong Bayan’s Richard Gordon, 17.33 and Kapatiran’s JC de Los Reyes with 14.36 minutes.

Estrada said that his being the media flavor of the month of February may have been triggered by his being the true political opposition.

“Modesty aside, I’m still the true opposition. We have the evidence to prove that we are the true opposition,” he said as his staff, Binay and the other PMP senatorial bets were waiting for him before boarding a helicopter to Caramoan town about 15 minutes away by air.

When he was being prodded to stop the interview and leave for Caramoan, he said: “Just a minute. I’m enjoying my talk with the media.” Gerry Baldo

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