Villar, Noy both GMA bets – PMP
By Perseus Echeminada
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – A campaign manager of former President Joseph Estrada has tagged Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar and Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as President Arroyo’s secret candidates.
Outgoing Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco told The STAR that the exodus of Lakas-Kampi-CMD stalwarts to NP and LP has exposed Mrs. Arroyo’s support for Villar and Aquino in her bid to promote her political agenda beyond the May elections.
Tiangco, who is on his third and last term, said the latest defection of Albay Gov. Joey Salceda to LP is a clear sign that the President has scattered her political allies to the two parties so she can continue her agenda even after the polls.
“Senators Villar and Aquino should stop accusing each other of being an Arroyo front because both of them are allies of the President,” he said.
Tiangco, who is running unopposed as a congressman in the lone district of Navotas, said Villar and Aquino cannot deny that they had actively participated in Estrada’s ouster and in the installation of Mrs. Arroyo as president in 2001.
A strong indication of the President’s support for Villar was evident in the defection of her key political allies such as former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao to NP.
The exodus, he said, has earned Villar the “Villarroyo” tag and now with the defection of Salceda to LP, Aquino will get the “Aquinorroyo” tag, Tiangco said.
Aside from Salceda, he said close relatives of Aquino have been working under Mrs. Arroyo’s administration such as his aunts Lupita Kashiwahara, Tessie Oreta and uncle Peping Cojuangco.
Tiangco said that with these developments, Aquino and Villar should stop claiming that they are part of the opposition.
He also said that everybody knows that the only genuine opposition is Estrada.
“If we could just remember the famous statement of Mrs. Susan Roces Poe that GMA stole the presidency not just once but twice, then I can say that Aquino and Villar were also part of GMA’s stolen presidency twice because they were part of that conspiracy,” Tiangco said.
He said then Speaker Villar in 2001 illegally led the House to transmit the Estrada impeachment case to Senate.
He also said the late President Cory Aquino’s apology to Estrada only proved that her family, including her son Noynoy, was part of the conspiracy to remove Estrada from the presidency.
“In 2004, they openly campaigned for GMA and worst, they did nothing about the Garci controversy. They did not even condemn the cheating in the elections,” he said, referring to the alleged taped conversation between Mrs. Arroyo and former poll commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.
“Now, they are saying that they are anti-GMA. I think this is just political opportunism because they want to put up an image that they are against Mrs. Arroyo since popularity of her administration is the lowest in history,” he said.
“Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino is the only consistent anti-GMA force,” he added.
Erap: No way for GMA to be the next Speaker
In a Cebu sortie last Wednesday, Estrada, whose populist nickname is Erap, said there was no way for President Arroyo to be the next House Speaker under his administration.
Estrada said that Arroyo demeaned the presidency by running for congresswoman in her hometown in Pampanga.
“She’s already the president and yet she still wants to be a congressman? What does she still want to prove?” said Estrada.
Estrada campaigned in the towns of Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion and in Lapulapu City where he had a proclamation rally together with over 30,000 supporters.
Estrada, who is hoping to win the votes of the masses in the coming elections, said that Arroyo is the heaviest baggage of the administration’s presidential bet Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro.
At the rally, Estrada also said that of all the other presidential candidates, Teodoro is the most competent, qualified and sincere in running the country.
“Of course, Erap is also competent, qualified and sincere. My only edge over Gibo is my experience. But I am impressed with Gibo. He is a good leader,” said Estrada who had been a mayor, a senator, a vice president and president, aside from being a popular movie actor.
“But I wish you would still vote for me,” Estrada told Cebuanos.
He said he was overwhelmed by the huge crowd that greeted him in the towns where he had his campaign sorties.
Estrada also said he was not impressed with Senator Aquino, whom he included in the Genuine Opposition ticket in the 2007 national elections, saying he has no track record or achievements to speak of other than being the son of democracy icons, former senator Ninoy Aquino and Corazon Aquino.