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Villar formalizes bid for president

Coup colonel files candidacy for Senate

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 09:50:00 11/30/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Politics, Manny Villar

MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE 2) Wearing the Nacionalista Party's signature orange color, Senator Manuel ?Manny? Villar filed his candidacy for president with the Commission on Elections on Monday at exactly 9:37 a.m.

Together with Villar were his running mate Senator Loren Legarda and part of the party?s senatorial lineup composed of Senator Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Adel Tamano, Susan Ople, Gwendolyn Pimentel, and Ramon "Mon-Mon" Mitra.

Detained Colonel Ariel Querubin, who is also part of the NP senatorial slate, made it to the filing. He got a special pass from detention and arrived at the Comelec on Monday, in full military uniform, to file his certificate of candidacy for the Senate under NP.

Querubin, who has been detained for the past several years while being tried for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Arroyo government in 2006 through a coup d? etat, said he was savoring his final moments as a soldier before filing his certificate of candidcay. A soldier is considered resigned from the military, once he runs for public office.

Not present during the filing were Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who earlier filed her candidacy for senator as NP guest candidate, and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., who is scheduled to file his later.

According to Legarda, Representative Liza Maza of Gabriela is rejoining the NP after ?misunderstanding? between her and party was ?fixed.?

Previously, Representatives Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and Maza were to run under the Nacionalista Party's senatorial slate. The two dropped out and instead filed their bids as independent candidates after Villar allied with Kilusang Bagong Lipunan and got Marcos to run under his party.

Ocampo and Maza, who filed their certificates of candidacy Sunday, have reserved slots in the NP senatorial slate, said NP spokesman Gilbert Remulla. He also said the12th senator will be announced soon.

Villar claimed his party offers ?true change? not only in leadership but ?improvement in the lives of poor Filipinos.?

?This filing formalizes our campaign against poverty and corruption. Our slate has representatives who advocate for environment, overseas Filipino workers, health, women, and labor groups. We need to fight poverty,? Villar said.

Legarda pointed out that NP is the only party with a senatorial slate with equal number of men and women.

Prior to filing their candidacies, Villar and his group attended an 8:30 a.m. mass at the Manila Cathedral, together with their family and supporters who were all in orange.

Villar was accused of using his position to benefit from the alleged overpriced construction of the C5 road extension project, but was defended by Santiago during the party's proclamation rally in Tondo Sunday.

With Cathy Yamsuan, PDI


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