MANILA, Philippines – Is Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales the campaign manager of Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar Jr.?
Several middle and senior grade military officers posed this question yesterday after Gonzales reportedly endorsed Villar at the battalion commanders’ symposium at the Philippine Army Officers’ Club in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig the other day.
“O baka hindi nyo iboto si (You might not vote for) Villar because of these leftists,” Gonzales was quoted by a military officer as saying.
Gonzales, guest of honor at the symposium, was referring to guest NP senatorial candidates Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.
Villar is deemed unpopular among members of the uniformed services for taking in Ocampo and Maza, who are seen as communist sympathizers.
However, Gonzales reportedly got an assurance from Villar that Ocampo and Maza will not win in the May 10 elections.
A military officer said that Gonzales told them not to worry about Maza and Ocampo.