Villar: Nothing to recoup, I’m spending my own money
By Marvin Sy
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manuel Villar Jr. assured the people yesterday that he is not beholden to any benefactor.
Speaking over radio dzBB yesterday, Villar said he has been spending his own money for his campaign, including the financing of the NP, which he heads.
People should not fear that he would try to recoup his expenses when he becomes president, he added.
Villar said a lot of the campaign contributors strongly consider a candidate whom they believe they could influence.
“So of course why should they bet on someone who won’t be influenced by them,” he said.
Villar scoffed at allegations that he is a candidate of the administration, which has been the subject of constant text messages.
It makes no sense since he has been criticized for spending so much for his campaign, he added.
Villar said this would imply that he does not need the help of anybody, including the administration.
“The organization I am using is the Nacionalista Party,” he said.
“If the organization is mine and I spend my own money, why would I need the President?”
Villar believes he is the most qualified candidate to lead the nation.
Villar said the next president should demonstrate his ability to govern.
“Because if you are not capable, you cannot just learn the ropes, this cannot be an on-the-job training so to speak or a probationary period because our country is faced with a lot of problems,” he said in Filipino.
Villar said a platform of government is not enough because this can be manufactured and memorized by any candidate with a good speechwriter.
He is in a very unique position because he had served as Speaker, Senate President and chief executive officer of a company, he added.
Villar said all three positions were all leadership posts and involved managing a significant number of people.
“Not everybody has experience,” he said.
“The President for one did not experience being a leader before she became President.
“She was a professor, then became a legislator and vice president. But that is not governance.
“Governance means that you are the CEO. Being a vice president does not count. You have to be able to say that you are the leader.”
Villar said his experience in all three posts gives him a distinct advantage over his rivals because he would immediately know how to deal with problems and various people from different factions and sectors.
“I cannot guarantee success but what I can say is that I have the highest probability of making this happen because I am very capable.”
Villar also said he did not try to bribe Sen. Richard Gordon into withdrawing from the presidential race.
“But the truth is that my conscience is clear, I did nothing wrong, I did not steal from the government and I take pride in my integrity,” he said in the same radio interview.
“We already have our programs and we no longer think about who will or will not go all the way,” he said in Filipino.
Villar said he had no reason to pay off any of his opponents for the presidency.
Villar said Gordon’s allegations are part of a strategy to portray him as a “transactional leader” to ruin his image.
Sen. Edgardo Angara denied yesterday allegations that Villar had sent him to convince Gordon to withdraw from the presidential race.
“There is absolutely no truth to that,” he said. “I was surprised to hear my name being dragged into the issue.”
Angara said the presidential candidates should focus on more important issues in the national campaign instead of resorting to political mudslinging.
“Whoever will win the country’s leadership faces big challenges like a dwindling food and water supply, a growing population, poor educational standards, lack of healthcare, and a slipping national competitiveness. – With Christina Mendez, Helen Flores