CALAMBA, LAGUNA, Philippines?Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago fired the first salvo on Tuesday, calling Senator Manny Villar's detractors "ugly" and looked like a lizard.
"Biro mo pinagtutulungan nila si Manny Villar dahil madami daw ang pera, dahil madami advertisements. Ang sagot ko sa mga elitesta na ?yon, ang papangit nila. Mga mukhang lizards, mukhang mga butiki (Imagine they are ganging up on Manny Villar because he has a lot of money, because he has many advertisements. My answer to those elitists, they?re ugly. They look like lizards)," Santiago said.
"Si Manny Villar mayaman dahil sa sipag at tiyaga. Nag umpisa sa palengke sa Tondo...kaya inggit lang sila (Manny Villar is rich because of hard work and perseverance)," she added.
Santiago was the first speaker in the first campaign rally here of Villar's ticket.
The senator also used the occasion to lash at her opponent, whom she accused as the one behind the disqualification case filed against her at the Commission on Elections.
Santiago has been at odds with Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno since she lost her presidential bid against former president Fidel Ramos.
In her speech, Santiago also called her enemy for not taking her challenge for a fist fight.
"Sabi ko sa kanya, mamili ka lang kung ano ang gusto mo. Gusto mo bang barilan, gusto mo bang suntukan? Hindi ako sinasagot. Gusto yata kurutan (I told him, you choose which one you like. Do you want a firefight or a fistfight? I got no reply. Maybe he wanted pinch fight," she said, eliciting laughter from the crowd.
Santiago left the stage after her speech.