Imee Marcos

Villar: Next president must be an experienced leader

Villar: Next president must be an experienced leader
By Christina Mendez
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Nacionalista Party (NP) presidential bet Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. yesterday emphasized the need for the next president to have experience and leadership qualities to steer the country out of its problems.

Taking a cue from the recent resignation of administration bet Gilbert Teodoro as party chairman of Lakas-Kampi-CMD and the reported power struggle in the Liberal Party (LP), Villar emphasized the need for an efficient leader to prevent these incidents from occurring.

“This is what I am saying about leadership, and how important it is in running the country,” Villar said in an interview with Radio Mindanao Network.

Villar has been brandishing his leadership experience having served as speaker of the House of Representatives, Senate president and chief executive officer of his various real estate firms as his main qualities that would make him a good president.

Villar also pointed out the different personalities running under the NP senatorial slate show how people from various ideologies and backgrounds can work together, rise above their differences and work for the common good.

He said there had been a few times that he had to mediate between Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Bayan Muna’s Satur Ocampo and Gabriela’s Liza Maza.

Ocampo has been batting on distribution of the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and alleged human rights abuses during the Marcos regime.

Yet, according to Villar, the two NP candidates managed to be civil to each other during the campaign.

Villar also noted Maza has expressed some concern on the use of sexy dancers during the NP’s Rockatropa/Wowowee provincial tours.

At one point during a sortie in Ilocos Norte, Villar came to the rescue of Bongbong and his sister, Imee, when asked if their decision to run for elective posts as well as that of their mother, the former first lady Imelda Marcos, was another attempt to institute political dynasty in the province.

Villar explained it is the people who will vote for the “relatives” in elective positions, and in a number of cases, the political situation is the same in other provinces, not only in Ilocos, a known Marcos bailiwick.

Imee is seeking another try at the gubernatorial post while the Marcos matriarch is running to represent the province.

In the same radio interview, Villar warned the LP on its negative campaigning.

Villar said the NP has equal potential exposés against the LP candidates, including Aquino.

“We have many things which we can throw back versus Liberal Party as well as its standard-bearer but we are not doing it. We want to bring the debates to a higher level,” he said.

'NP not source of psychiatric report on Noynoy'

‘NP not source of psychiatric report on Noynoy’
By Christina Mendez
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Nacionalista Party (NP) yesterday vehemently denied reports that the party was the source of an alleged psychiatric report on Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

In a statement, the NP also denounced the use of black propaganda by their opponents in the coming May 10 elections.

“The party believes that there are far more important issues that need to be attended to than resorting to black propaganda,” the NP said.

The three-page alleged psychiatric report supposedly signed by Fr. Carmelo Caluag, SJ was circulated in the Internet. It discussed alleged depression of LP bet Aquino sometime in 1996 that was caused by a breakup with a stewardess-girlfriend.

Aquino, in a television interview, said the report using the letterhead of the Ateneo de Manila Psychology Department was a fabrication aimed at demeaning his person.

In at least three major press conferences in the past week, NP presidential bet Sen. Manuel Villar, vice presidential bet Sen. Loren Legarda and the entire NP slate have condemned the dirty tactics waged by the LP, particularly when they dug up the records of Villar’s dead brother, Danny, who died of complications of leukemia in 1962.

Legarda said she has focused her campaign on issues involving women, senior citizens, agriculture, environment and climate change while her political opponents opted to dish out lies and dirty politics.

NP senatorial bet, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. reiterated that the discourse should be based on issues and not personal attacks.

Solid North

Marcos and Villar met with local NP candidates in Laoag City before going to the Bangui Wind Farm last Tuesday.

The duo then proceeded to the town of Badoc in Ilocos Sur where they were the special guests at the inauguration of the municipal hall.

Former congresswoman Imee Marcos also affirmed the expected solid support of Ilocanos for the NP presidential bet.

“Even when Senator Villar first ran for a senatorial position, the Ilocanos already knew that he is a leader of top caliber. They love him and I am sure that this affection will be expressed in the upcoming polls,” she said.

Villar also supports the candidacy of former first lady Imelda Marcos as congresswoman of Ilocos Norte and Imee Marcos who is running for governor in the province.

La Union Gov. Manuel Ortega also met with Villar and endorsed his presidential bid. Ortega was a known Lakas stalwart.

NP senatorial candidate Adel Tamano said Aquino stands to benefit from the release of a questionable psychiatric report on the state of his mental health.

In a radio interview, Tamano denied claims that the document came from the NP and said the alleged psychiatric evaluation of the Ateneo de Manila University on Aquino would do more harm than good to NP.

“I think the LP will be the one to benefit” because it would look like the NP was resorting to dirty tricks, he said.

Tamano also said that with rumors that the LP standard-bearer suffers from mental disorder, the release of a questionable psychiatric evaluation report would only “diffuse” the damage when a real and genuine psychiatric report showing Aquino to be mentally unsound indeed comes out later.

Relatives invading House

Relatives invading House
By Jess Diaz
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Close relatives are seeking to replace almost all of the 79 members of the House of Representatives who are exiting or “graduating” from Congress on June 30.

From Ilocos to Mindanao, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters are swapping posts to keep their hold on power in their districts and provinces.

The best example is President Arroyo, who is running for representative of Pampanga’s second district, a job held by her elder son Juan Miguel or Mikey.

Mikey in turn is eyeing to continue his stay in Congress through the party-list system. He is the first nominee of a group calling itself Ang Galing Pinoy.

Three other Arroyos are running for congressional seats.

In Ilocos Norte, former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos is seeking to replace her son, incumbent second district Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is running for senator.

Her elder daughter Imee is a gubernatorial candidate.

In the first district, Michel Kristian Ablan wants to take the place of his father, outgoing Rep. Roque Ablan Jr., who is running for governor against Imee and incumbent Michael Keon, a relative of the Marcoses.

Graduating Rep. Eric Singson of Ilocos Sur has fielded his son Eric Jr. to take his seat.

In Cagayan province, former Rep. Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr., only son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, is reclaiming his seat in the first district, whose incumbent representative is Jack’s wife Salvacion, who is just on her first term.

In the small province and lone district of Quirino, Dakila Carlo Enriquez Cua is seeking to replace his father, outgoing Rep. Junie Cua.

Mayor Kimi Cojuangco of Sison town in Pangasinan wants to take the seat of her husband, nuclear power advocate and outgoing Rep. Mark Cojuangco of the fifth district.

A second Cojuangco would most likely get to sit in the House of Representatives. He is Henry of Tarlac’s first district, brother of billionaire businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr.

The first district is the bailiwick of former defense secretary Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr., presidential candidate of the ruling Lakas-Kampi. Its incumbent representative is Teodoro’s wife Nikki, who has opted not to seek a second term to help her husband in his campaign.

The Teodoros had planned to field Gilbert’s mother Merceditas, a former assemblywoman and sister of Danding and Henry, for Nikki’s seat. But when Henry chose to run, they decided against her candidacy.

Gilbert and his uncle Danding are not on speaking terms. Pitting Merceditas against her brother Henry would have highlighted their misunderstanding.

In Bulacan, graduating Rep. Lorna Silverio’s husband, Don Ricardo “Carding” Silverio, is seeking to replace her.

Silverio the candidate is a former congressman of the same third district his wife represents. He was a friend of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. He started the Toyota dealership in the country during the Marcos regime.

Even in Metro Manila, relatives are seeking the seats of graduating lawmakers.

In Muntinlupa, Sen. Rodolfo Biazon and son Ruffy, incumbent representative of the lone district, want to swap jobs. The father is running for congressman, while the son is aspiring to be a senator.

In nearby Las Piñas, Mark Villar, son of Sen. Manuel Villar, is seeking to replace his mother, graduating Rep. Cynthia Villar.

Former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita is running for representative of Batangas’ first district, whose present representative is his daughter Eileen.

In Camarines Norte, incumbent Rep. Liwayway Vinzons-Chato is running in the newly created second district, while son Wilfredo is a congressional candidate in the first district.

Rep. Chato is the author of the law that split her province into two districts.

In Marinduque, Rep. Camencita Reyes has chosen to run for governor to give way to son Edmundo, who is aiming to reclaim his congressional seat.

In Iloilo, Rep. Judy Syjuco of the second district is giving way to her husband, August Syjuco Jr., former director general of the Technical Skills Education and Development Authority.

Former presidential legal counsel Sergio Apostol is seeking a congressional comeback by replacing his wife Trinidad as representative of Leyte’s second district.

In the nearby island of Samar, Gov. Raul Daza of Northern Samar and son and incumbent Rep. Paul Daza want to swap jobs.

The same is true with Western Samar. Gov. Milagros Tan and daughter Sharee Ann, the youngest member of the House, want to switch positions.

Governors Daza and Tan are on their third and last term, while Representatives Daza and Tan are just on their first three-year term. Son and daughter have given way to father and mother instead of seeking a second term.

Down south, in Davao City, Karlo Nograles is seeking to replace his father, Speaker Prospero Nograles, as first district representative.

The Speaker, who is on his third and last term, is running for city mayor. He is up against the tandem of Vice Mayor Sarah Duterte, his mayoral opponent, and incumbent Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is running as his daughter’s vice mayoral candidate.

In Zamboanga del Sur, Rep. Antonio Cerilles of the second district is running for governor. His wife Aurora, the incumbent governor, is seeking his seat.

The Constitution bans political dynasties. That’s why its writers limited House members and local officials to three consecutive three-year terms. However, there is no constitutional provision against politicians fielding their relatives to replace them.