MANILA, Philippines ? Amid Senator Benigno ?Noynoy? Aquino III?s declaration of running for president in 2010, a Cabinet official on Wednesday said that the possible Gilberto Teodoro-Ronaldo Puno tandem of the ruling coalition would make for a competitive match and even a ?winning? team against the opposition?s.
Interior Secretary Puno, who is very vocal in his intentions to run for vice president, threw in his full support for Defense Secretary Teodoro on Wednesday, even if the administration?s Lakas-Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino-Christian Muslim Democrats party has yet to formally announce its standard bearer in the 2010 elections.
He said the Teodoro-Puno tandem would make for a good match against the possible team up of Aquino and Senator Manuel ?Mar? Roxas, even if the administration has been marred with controversy under the leadership of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
?I believe that running with Gibo Teodoro is going to be a winning move because?I think the minute the people get to now the kind of person that he is, his record of public service and hear him speak, hear him express and explain his plans for the country, I think he is going to make for a very strong candidate and I?m confident that with him as our presidential candidate, Lakas-Kampi will go very far and actually win this elections,? Puno said in an interview at Camp Crame.
He added that Aquino?s announcement earlier Wednesday came as no surprise because it was the obvious move.
When asked of the chances of Vice President Noli de Castro becoming the administration?s standard bearer, Puno said, ?Number one, he is not a member of the party. Number 2, he has not decided whether he is going to run or not.?
?And frankly I?ve gone around the country [and] almost everybody I?ve talked to, the support is really for Secretary Teodoro.?
He claimed that as much as 80 percent of the governors throughout the country and as many as 100 congressmen have thrown in their support for Teodoro as president,? he said.
The administration?s party is set to meet on September 16 for a possible announcement of its standard bearer for 2010, Puno said.
The interior and local government chief also recognized the ?Cory? factor in Aquino?s presidential bid.
But, Puno said, ?I guess we have to reach out to our people and try to really make them understand that we are not opposed in any way to the values, to the aspirations, to the dreams that President Cory had for our country. What we need to do is to show that our candidates are in the best position to handle the problems of today.?
At the same time, Puno said that it is about time to let the younger ones lead the country.
?People will wonder why I am deferring to a much younger candidate. Well, because I feel it is time for the younger generation to come in,? he added.
Puno also answered queries as to why Lakas-Kampi-CMD has kept quiet as the deadline for the filing of candidacy draws closer.
?So people have been guessing. They say we don?t have candidates. No. Actually we have candidates but we?re just quiet abut it and we?re letting the party leaders to think about it,? he said.