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Lakas has enough ‘winnable’ bets

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De Castro among potential standard bearers

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:37:00 01/29/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Politics

CLARK FIELD, Pampanga — The Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) has enough “winnable” candidates in its stable of potential presidential bets, including Vice President Noli De Castro, the spokesman for the administration party said Thursday.

Although an independent, De Castro is “part of us [Lakas],” having been President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s running mate in 2004, said Lakas vice president for Mindanao and party spokesman Prospero Pichay.

The Lakas executive committee met here to map out the party’s strategy for next year’s elections.

Arroyo ordered the creation of a committee that would pursue the merger between Lakas and the party she founded, the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi, Partner of the Free Filipino), and set the criteria for choosing the administration coalition’s candidates.

Pichay said that, initially, Lakas would require its standard bearer to be “sensitive to the needs of the people,” abide by government’s economic policies, and be “winnable.”

But he added that Lakas would support presidential candidates from other parties if the administration coalition decides to do so.

“Kung mapapagkasunduan, bakit hindi? [If it can be agreed upon, why not?]. But at the moment we have enough presidentiables [sic, presidential candidates] in our party and, I think, winnable ones,” he said.

Asked who the “winnable” candidates were, Pichay replied: “Noli de Castro ran under our party. He has not officially joined our party but he is part of us. He’s actually ahead in the surveys.”

Pichay said Lakas has also coalesced with the Liberal party faction led by Environment Secretary Jose “Lito” Atienza, and is “open” to a coalition with the Nacionalista Party headed by Senator Manuel Villar, who has announced his intention to seek the presidency.

But Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando is the only Lakas member who has signified his intention to run for president and seek the party’s nomination.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, meanwhile, said he could not confirm a Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of report that a faction of the Lakas wants Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno to be standard bearer.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2009-01-29T12:13:46+00:00UTC01bUTCThu, 29 Jan 2009 12:13:46 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm01

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