Thursday, April 1, 2010

NP, Villar deny Mike Arroyo link after Lakas defections

04/01/2010 | 02:07 PM

Original Story:

(Updated 3:40 PM)The Nacionalista Party on Thursday denied any connection with First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, saying reports linking the latter to its standard bearer, Senator Manuel Villar Jr., is “baseless and malicious."

The Nacionalista Party and Senator Villar “know nothing about this," the NP said in a statement. “We expressly deny any links with the First Gentleman."

Newspaper reports have indicated that administration party standard bearer Gilberto “Gibo" Teodoro Jr. resigned as Lakas-Kampi-CMD national chairman owing to allegations that Mr. Arroyo is supporting Villar’s candidacy, instead of his.

“These reports are...meant only to destroy the opposition character of the NP and of Sen Villar," the statement read.

Similarly, Teodoro’s camp also denied reports Mr. Arroyo was involved in his resignation as the administration party’s national chairman.

Reports indicating that the First Gentleman already dumped Teodoro in favor of Villar is “political intrigue" aimed at “showing divisiveness" in the administration party, lawyer Mike Toledo, Teodoro’s spokesperson, told GMANews.TV.

“Mr. Arroyo has nothing to do with Secretary Teodoro’s resignation from Lakas. All these issues are just divisive intrigues, and Mr. Teodoro does not listen to these," Toledo said in a phone interview on Thursday. “Mr. Teodoro values his covenant with his party to win this election."

Toledo also maintained that Teodoro quit his post in the party “to focus his energies on his campaign."

Teodoro, who continues to lag behind pre-election presidential preference surveys, resigned as Lakas-Kampi’s national chairman to prioritize his bid for the presidency.

Two more officials of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD — party president Miguel Dominguez and secretary-general Francis Manglapus — also resigned on Wednesday to reportedly give the next set of officials a free hand in choosing their replacements.

Manglapus was later installed as the new party president by the Lakas-Kampi-CMD’s executive committee in an emergency meeting late Wednesday.

Deputy secretary-general Raymundo Roquero took over the post Manglapus vacated.

Occidental Mindoro Rep. Amelita Villarosa was chosen as the new party chairman to replace Teodoro.

Garcia clan’s support ‘unwavering’

Toledo also denied reports that the Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia told Teodoro that members of the Garcia clan talked with the First Gentleman to withdraw support from the administration party

“The Garcia clan’s support for Mr. Teodoro is solid and unconditional. Never at any point did that support waver," he said.

A report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Thursday quoted an anonymous party official as saying that a “furious" Teodoro confronted Gov. Garcia in Cebu “when he learned of the Garcia’s support for Villar."

Toledo said that the Lakas party bet went to Cebu last week “only to attend a number of rallies," and denied that the confrontation took place.

He added that it was clear during Teodoro’s visits to Cebu that the Garcia clan is “solidly behind Teodoro."

Three members of Cebu’s influential clan — Gov. Gwen Garcia, Rep. Pablo John Garcia, and clan patriarch Pablo Garcia — openly expressed support for Teodoro during his visit in the province last Friday.

The Garcia-led One Cebu party has also formally endorsed Teodoro, but dumped his running mate Edu Manzano in favor of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) bet Loren Legarda.

However, Cebu City mayoralty candidate Alvin Garcia forged an alliance with Villar last week along with members of the local opposition party, Kusug.

’Unfair,’ NP says, over defections

In the meantime, the Nacionalista Party also lamented why defections of Lakas leaders to their camp was being questioned when many administration party stalwarts also transferred to Liberal Party (LP).

“Bakit nung si Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, Ralph Recto at Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri ang lumipat hindi nila sinabi na maka-administrasyon ang LP? Bakit sa amin lang? How come they didn’t say that with the defections to other parties. It’s not fair," it said.

(How come they didn’t say that the Liberal Party is pro-administration when Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, Ralph Recto, and Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri all defected to the LP?)

Among the Lakas stalwarts who have defected to Villar's camp were Bukidnon Governor Jose Zubiri and administration ally reelectionist Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit" Singson.

Lakas members are just smarting from the loss of support from leaders, reportedly prompting them to issue “the baseless statement," the NP statement said.

Noynoy has most relatives working for Arroyo govt

For his part, lawyer Adel Tamano, NP senatorial bet and spokesperson, asked which presidential candidate has the most number of relatives working for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Noy (LP presidential bet Sen. Benigno Simeon Aquino III) has Lupita Aquino Kashiwahara and Tingting and Peping Cojuangco all employed by [Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo]. Manny Villar has zero relatives working for [her]," he said in a text message sent to GMANews.TV.

Kashiwahara is Mrs. Arroyo’s image maker, Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco is the head of Philippine Olympic Committee, and his wife Magarita “Tingting" Cojuangco, is president of Philippine Public Safety College.

Aquino’s aunt, Tessie Aquino-Oreta was named as head of the Early Childhood Care and Development Council.

“Also doesn’t Noy have two [Arroyo] cabinet secretaries on his team — Mar (Senator Roxas) and Ralph Recto?" Tamano added. “The unbiased conclusion is that its Team Haciendero that’s the real [Arroyo] candidate and this conclusion is based on facts not merely on speculations and political gossip."

Villar has repeatedly denied that he is the candidate of the Arroyo’s in the May 2010 polls. [See: Villar denies being Arroyo's 'secret candidate.'] - RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV

Original Story:

No comments:

Post a Comment