Gibo not bolting Lakas
By Jaime Laude
The Philippine Star
SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga , Philippines – Administration presidential candidate Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro yesterday declared he never doubted the support of President Arroyo and the ruling party Lakas-Kampi-CMD.
Teodoro dismissed reports that his resignation as party chairman last week was a move to eventually bolt the ruling party and make it on his own.
“We’re falling into the trap of somebody who wants the rumor to be persistent. I’ve always been convinced (of party support and that of President Arroyo). Never have I made any statement in public that there’s no such support,” he said.
Teodoro stressed he would remain as the administration party candidate and will never do any political stunt in the effort to gain sympathy.
Teodoro said he resigned, not due to the reported rift he had with the Arroyo family, but to be able to focus on his campaign with only four weeks to go before election day.
Teodoro said the speculations on his recent decision to quit his post as party chairman last week were a “canard.”
“More than anything else, my self-respect is more important and I’ll not quit,” he said.
Teodoro though indirectly admitted that Lakas is having funding difficulties, particularly in bankrolling the campaign of administration candidates.
But he stressed the problem has been resolved by the new party leaders.
“The new party leaders have resolved (the funding problem) already,” Teodoro told reporters here, adding
the party is now geared up to fully support his campaign. He expressed confidence that he will emerge the winner in the May 10 presidential elections.
Teodoro also sought to set aside “Villarroyo” speculations that he was dumped by the Arroyos in favor of Nacionalista Party (NP) bet Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr.
‘Our bet is Teodoro’
There is no such thing as “Villarroyo,” Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo yesterday declared in defending his mother President Arroyo on allegations of secretly supporting Villar.
Arroyo stressed the administration party is all out in its support for Teodoro.
Though Teodoro resigned as party chairman last week, Arroyo said the ruling party respected his decision to focus on the campaign.
Arroyo denied reports alleging his father First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo called up several Lakas party members to drop Teodoro and support Villar.
“Our bet is Gibo Teodoro. My father has denied those allegations. In fact, the other camp has said there was no such effort coming from my father and no fool would do such a thing,” Arroyo declared, referring to the NP camp.
The 35-year old Arroyo is campaigning for reelection to represent the second congressional district of Camarines Sur.
Arroyo stressed his presence in the campaign sortie of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD in the province only goes to show that the Arroyo family is “all out for Gibo.”
He branded as outright lies and falsehood the tag on Villar as peddled by the opposition.
Elder brother Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo said they would respect any decision from Teodoro to distance himself from the First Family.
“Well that’s his choice, but as far as we are concerned, we are all out for him,” Mikey said.
He said the First Family would still support Teodoro since he is the presidential candidate of the ruling party.
Mikey stressed the President would not campaign for Teodoro in Pampanga because local party leaders are now doing this.
Mikey noted the mounting speculations that Teodoro is finding it difficult to disassociate himself from Mrs. Arroyo, which political observers have claimed would be a kiss of death for his presidential bid.
Lakas-Kampi-CMD party chair Occidental Mindoro Rep. Amelita Villarosa said the President gave marching orders to the party to support Teodoro and ensure his victory in the May 10 elections.
Villarosa said the President also directed her to address all issues in the party, particularly on funding problems that have been the main concern of the candidates.
“The President told me that I better work on all the concerns that have to be addressed. You’re the chairman so do something about all of these. We have already addressed all the issues,” Villarosa said.
The military, for its part, clarified the “marching orders” were directed to members of the ruling party to support Teodoro.
“The marching orders for the troops was referred to the Lakas-Kampi-CMD and not to the troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena said.
Baguio City Rep. Mauricio Domogan said the ruling party remains supportive of Teodoro’s candidacy and would stick with him all the way to the presidency.
“We are not faltering and we are not changing. We are decisive and united to support the candidacy of Gilbert Teodoro for president,” he stressed. – With Delon Porcalla, Roel Pareño, Raffy Viray