Pampanga governor launches political party
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda has consolidated her allies with the launch on Monday of her provincial political party, Kambilan, ahead of her reelection bid and that of her son’s plan to run for vice governor.
“[Kambilan] puts [Pineda’s allies] under one umbrella,” Rosve Henson, the party’s vice president for external affairs and spokesperson, said.
Kambilan, which was accredited in 2010, is not affiliated with Lakas-Kampi, the party of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, or other national political parties, Henson said. Arroyo, a representative of the second district of Pampanga, has been charged with electoral sabotage at a Pasay City regional trial court.
Pineda ran under Lakas-Kampi in 2010 and as an independent in 2007.
Henson said the governor established Kambilan because she wanted to focus on local politics and strengthen alliances among local leaders. The policy, he said, is to allow Kambilan members to freely affiliate with national political parties.
“There’s no conflict for as long as they support Governor Pineda,” he said. That means Kambilan members may support the candidates of the Liberal Party (LP), Nacionalista Party (NP) and Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) for positions other than the governor, he said.
It was not immediately known if this setup sits well with the LP, NP and NPC.
Arroyo, if she wishes to, could be adopted into Kambilan, Henson said.
Pineda’s only son, Dennis, a former mayor of Lubao town, is seeking the post to be left by Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao, who is in his third term, Henson said.
Reports said Maynard Lapid, youngest son of Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid, is also interested in running for vice governor. The elder Lapid served as vice governor and governor of Pampanga before he ran for senator and won in 2004.
Another son, Mark, served as governor from 2004 to 2007. He is now chief operating officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.
Henson said Pineda’s husband, Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda, widely suspected to be behind the illegal numbers game “jueteng” in the province, has no role in Kambilan.
The LP in Pampanga has yet to announce its provincial slate that would challenge Pineda and her allies.
Kambilan is the same group that tried but failed to remove former Gov. Eddie Panlilio through a recall campaign filed with the Commission on Elections in 2008. Panlilio lost his reelection bid to Pineda in 2010.
At the launch yesterday, Pineda administered the mass induction of Kambilan members, most of whom are mayors, vice mayors, councilors and provincial board members. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon