Lakas-Kampi mayor calls Gordon ‘most qualified president’
By Cathy C. Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SAN PABLO CITY, Laguna, Philippines—Better safe than sorry.
The mayor of San Pablo City in Laguna introduced Sen. Richard Gordon as “maybe the next president of the Philippines” when he introduced the Bagumbayan standard bearer in a simple assembly inside the city hall Monday morning.
But Mayor Vicente Amante of Lakas-Kampi quickly explained that he did not want to give the impression he had jumped ship.
“Ayokong sabihin ng iba na bumaligtad na po ‘ata si Mayor Amante (I don’t want people to think that Mayor Amante has switched sides),” he said.
The Lakas-Kampi administration party has fielded former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. for president and former Optical Board chairman Edu Manzano for vice president.
Still, Amante described Gordon as “the most qualified president,” supposedly after consulting with a female broadcaster, a native of the city.
Gordon was gracious though, saying he appreciated Amante’s effort to provide him with a venue to interact with city residents during his visit.
“I only planned to pay a courtesy call,” he said.
A member of Gordon’s staff noted that during their Pangasinan sortie two weeks ago, a mayor, a supporter of Liberal Party standard bearer, Sen. Benigno Aquino III, refused to acknowledge Gordon’s presence in his city.
Paul Michael Cuadra, Amante’s secretary, said Gordon has been the first presidential candidate in the 2010 elections to visit the city personally.
“This indicates that Mayor Amante matters to the national government. We also want to show that San Pablo accepts all presidential candidates regardless of their political affiliation. Everybody is welcome,” Cuadra said.
Residents said Tarlac Rep. Nikki Teodoro also paid a visit to San Pablo City recently with a promise that her husband, Lakas-Kampi standard bearer Gilbert Teodoro would follow soon.