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MMDA chair courting votes for TV celebrity contest

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Admits bus signs ‘self-advertisement’

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:24:00 09/05/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Before gunning for the presidency, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando is campaigning for votes in a different contest — to be the champion of a celebrity singing competition.

Fernando said he needs the P1-million cash prize in “Celebrity Duets,” aired on GMA Television, to fund his bid for the presidency in 2010.

The winner of the contest is decided by text or SMS voting.

“Don’t forget, Celebrity Duets, text BF, so that I will win. I need the prize. It’s one million [pesos]; I need that for 2010,” Fernando told reporters in a chance interview outside Malacañang.

At the same time, Fernando downplayed Senate President Manuel Villar’s confirmation of plans to run for president in 2010, saying he beat the lawmaker to the punch.

“Mukhang huli na. Nauna na ako. Ang lagay, ngayon lang sila nakapa-desisyon.? [It’s too late. I beat them to it. What took them too long to decide?],” he said.

Fernando also said the “Bayani” (literally “hero” in Filipino) stickers plastered on the windshields of public transport vehicles are “self-advertisement,” even as he stressed vehicles with the stickers are not exempt from traffic rules.

“You can call it self-advertisement. I think there’s nothing wrong with that. We advertise ourselves. That’s why women put on lipstick, to look good in front of everybody, all wanting to be loved,” he said.

Told that he could be accused of early campaigning, Fernando replied: “I’ve been campaigning for 16 years now. Since I got into public service I’ve been campaigning, that’s why I’m doing good, trying to do good.”

Fernando conceded that his rivals had the edge over him due to their experience in national campaigns, but he said he hoped to catch up “in due time.”

Fernando was mayor of Marikina City before he was appointed MMDA chairman.

He was in Malacañang on Friday for the oath-taking of Muntinlupa Mayor Aldrin San Pedro as member of the ruling Lakas party, of which, he is vice president for Metro Manila.

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-09-05T08:51:52+00:00UTC09bUTCFri, 05 Sep 2008 08:51:52 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am09

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