Friday, September 25, 2009

Lakas solons will support admin standard bearer in 2010 polls, says House Speaker

MANILA, Philippines - Speaker Prospero Nograles said that Cebu Representative Antonio Cuenco may have been speaking only for himself in relation to his statement that a majority of Lakas congressmen are inclined to support Senator Benigno Aquino III as he stressed that the selection of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro as the administration's standard bearer was precisely based on the recommendation and endorsement of the overwhelming majority of administration congressmen.

“I don't think that there is any basis for such assessment because the Lakas leadership made its own survey with respect to their choice for a presidential candidate and their choice is Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro. A great majority of our members are highly principled and I don't think that their choice of Gibo was plainly based on what Congressman Cueco describes as pork barrel considerations,” Nograles said, referring to the Defense chief.

Nograles said that as Speaker and Lakas-Kampi-CMD vice-chairman, he is in constant consultations with congressmen belonging to the majority bloc and he has not sensed any indication that they are rooting for Aquino.

“As Speaker I always talk to as many congressmen as I can everyday and that sentiment is prevailing only in the militant party lists and the liberal party stalwarts identified with Senator Frank Drilon. They have following am sure but the NPC have more and definitely Lakas-Kampi have the numbers. Representative Cuenco has been with the yellow movement since 1985 and maybe that's his emotional sentiment. Am sure the other Cebu congressmen do not feel like he does,” Nograles said.

When final reckoning comes, Nograles said that administration congressmen will toe the administration line and support the party's standard bearer.

“The Majority of congressmen and women will probably toe the administration line and we think that Gibo, . given the time and the right public exposure, should be able to shoot up by end of next month's October surveys. Villar and Chiz have their own solid following also,” Nograles said.

Nograles' position was echoed by other administration congressmen who likewise questioned the accuracy of Cuenco's alleged informal survey.

Lakas Representative Mauricio Domogan of Baguio City said that as far as he is concerned, including those belonging to the Northern Alliance bloc, Teodoro is the perfect choice as the administration's presidential bet.

“I don't think the survey is accurate at all. I was never asked and I believe that even those in the Northern Alliance will support Gibo,” Domogan said.

Representative Rodolfo Valencia (Lakas, Oriental Mindoro) also said:” I cannot believe the informal survey. Gibo Teodoro is the most qualified to be President. Am sure majority of Congressmen will support him.”

Representative Marcelino Teodoro (Lakas, Marikina City) also refuted Cuenco's claim and described it as a “misleading statement” and mere “speculation.”

“That is a misleading statement. I for one,as part of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD,knows that the ideals of the party and its long term vision to a more transparent and productive country is its strength. The informal survey by
Representative Cuenco can be discounted as mere speculation and may prove to be unsubstantiated,” he said.

“His personal survey should not cause distress to his fellow representatives who have been blatantly dragged into his personal dilemma. Aquino's surge is fleeting and rides only with the Aquino euphoria. 'Winnability' in the polls is not a guaranteed victory,but loyalty to a formidable party ideology and the sole advocacy to lead the country towards the betterment and welfare of Filipinos is the winning formula in the 2010 elections,” Teodoro added.

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