Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lakas moves to bring life into Teodoro’s fight

by Joyce Pangco Pañares

Original Story:

THE ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party is in need of resuscitation following several high-profile defections, a party stalwart admitted Tuesday.

“It’s political CPR,” said Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who organized a caucus of about 50 governors committed to supporting administration candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

“We are under resuscitation because of recent political events,” Salceda said.

“There is no organization that will allow itself to simply die. It will fight before dying.”

In their meeting at the Discovery Suites in Pasig City, some 50 governors belonging to the League of Provinces vowed to deliver 14 million votes for Teodoro, the Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard bearer.

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, who has denied talk that her family had defected to the opposition, was elected president of the newly formed National Caucus of Governors.

Saranggani Gov. Miguel Dominguez was elected vice president; Salceda, secretary general; and Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolf Plaza, finance officer.

In a manifesto of support issued after the meeting, the governors said they believed Teodoro was the most qualified among all the presidential candidates to lead the country to “greater... prosperity and social progress” in the next six years.

They also committed to work to deliver “overwhelming electoral majorities” to Teodoro in their respective jurisdictions.

Plaza dubbed their new group “Team Palabra de Honor” because they would keep their word of honor to support Teodoro all the way.

“We are a solid group of 50 governors,’’ he said.

“You can call us the Team Palabra de Honor because we will not be jumping ship at this point. We have our word of honor that we will not back out.”

Salcedo added: “The objective is to deliver 14 million votes for Gibo [Teodoro]. We have a nominal market share because of the potency of the incumbent.”

As the governors met, the ruling party’s national executive committee tackled recent defections in their own meeting at the nearby Linden Suites.

“Knowing how crucial the choice of the next president is to the Filipino’s future, we shall hold the ranks of the party for Teodoro, and resist by all means possible, wherever and whenever they occur, efforts by rival parties to undermine our presidential campaign through all means fair or foul,” a resolution by the committee read.

Presidential political adviser and party vice president for membership Prospero Pichay said the defections accounted for less than 1 percent of the ruling party’s members..

“We lost some people, but they do not account for even 1 percent of our members,” Pichay said.

The party members who have defected include Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. (transferred to Liberal Party)and former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis Singson, Cebu Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, and Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri, who all joined the Nacionalista Party.

New officials of the Lakas-Kampi CMD were also elected yesterday, including former Agriculture chief Arthur Yap as senior vice president for external affairs; Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez as treasurer; Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado as vice-president; and former Justice chief Agnes Devanadera as senior deputy secretary general.

Pichay, the campaign manager for the senatorial slate, said he expected fresh funds to be released today, Wednesday.

“They gave me P90 million and we spent around P60 million for television ads and P30 million for posters,’’ Pichay said.

“So right now I have already shelled out P20 million from my own pocket to augment our funds.

“It’s my responsibility. You don’t just run away from responsibility because funds were not released. I hope by tomorrow they will be able to release fresh funds. We hope it will be another P90 million, but I doubt they can give me that much.”

Original Story:

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