Arroyo’s 2010 bets known in June—Palace
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 12:27:00 03/23/2009
MANILA, Philippines – The administration coalition will name its standard bearer and senatorial slate by June, Malacañang said Monday.
Track record and “winnability” are the main criteria for the selection of administration candidates, deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said, adding it will not matter whether or not a candidate is a traditional political or a reformist.
“The selection process for candidates is ongoing, hopefully by June, we will be announcing the list of candidates,” Fajardo told a news conference at the Palace.
“This is not about being a reformist or a traditional politician, even if you are a traditional politician you can have good performance… Madaling magsalita, ano yung gawa? [Talk is cheap. How did he perform?],” she said.
“But we also have to be realistic, it’s the winnability aspect,” she said.
Fajardo said the possible departure of Cabinet secretaries who might run for the Senate was “being discussed.”
A committee headed by Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio is drafting the criteria for administration candidates, and is at the same time pursuing the merger between the two administration parties – Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats and the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Partner of the Free Filipino, Kampi).
Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. is the latest personality identified with the administration to declare his intention to run for president in 2010. He joins another presidential aspirant, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando.
Vice President Noli de Castro is also reportedly being eyed for the presidency.
Over the weekend, a movement was launched to urge Pampanga Governor Ed Panilio, a Catholic priest, to run for president, with Isabela Governor Grace Padaca as his running mate.
Panlilio and Padaca became symbols of reform after they trounced political dynasties in their respective provinces.
Fajardo said a possible Panlilio-Padaca ticket was a “welcome development” because this would give the public more choices in next year’s vote.
“Anybody can try, but at the end of the day, the people will be the judge,” she said.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde has floated at least eight Cabinet officials for the Senate, including, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Augusto Syjuco, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, and presidential adviser on climate change Heherson Alvarez.
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