Another key Arroyo ally backs Noynoy, Mar
By Jorge Cariño
CEBU, Philippines – Another key ally of President Gloria Arroyo has chosen not to support her official candidate, Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro, for president in the May 10 polls.
Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., who recently quit his post as the country’s ambassador to the United Nations, publicly endorsed on Tuesday the Liberal Party (LP) tandem of Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Davide, a native of Argao, Cebu, said the LP tandem is the change the country needs.
“I think that this is the best time for our country to have a real change, and that change can only be accomplished through the leadership of Noynoy and Mar,” Davide, who wore a yellow t-shirt, said at a press conference.
Davide’s leadership of the Supreme Court during the military-backed EDSA 2 helped provide a peaceful transition from the Estrada government to the Arroyo administration in January 2001.
It was Davide who swore in Mrs. Gloria Arroyo at EDSA succeeding Estrada, who was forced to leave Malacañang Palace after a peaceful military-backed civilian revolt. The revolt was triggerd by Estrada’s failed impeachment trial over various corruption allegations.
After he retired from the Supreme Court, President Arroyo appointed Davide as the Philippine ambassador to the United Nations.
Davide said he resigned as Philippine ambassador to the United Nations to campaign for Aquino and “enlighten our people on the need to choose the best.”
Davide’s son is the LP candidate for vice-governor of Cebu.
A close Aquino ally
Davide was a close political ally of the late former President Corazon Aquino.
He headed a presidential commission which investigated coup attempts during the Aquino government.
Mrs. Aquino appointed Davide to the Supreme Court in 1991. Former President Joseph Estrada named him Chief Justice in November 1998.
Davide is helping the LP despite black propaganda that Aquino is a “mama’s boy” and “topak (crazy).” A fake document has been circulated on the web on the state of Aquino’s mental health.
Aquino said these false accusations only show the kind of politician his chief rival, Sen. Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Party, is.
“I really think they’re doing me a service by showing how trash, how baseless, how trivial they are, to what depths they can go to, in trying to advance their political career. So, I think it heightens the differences between them, and us and I’m sure the Filipino people will choose wisely,” Aquino said.
Former members of the Arroyo Cabinet, such as Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz and Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, are backing the LP tandem. — report from Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News