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Lacson nemesis seeks face-off in Manila

Ping Lacson made me decide to run

By Joel Guinto
INQ7.net
First Posted 13:28:00 11/13/2006

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2007, Elections

(UPDATE) SAYING she raring for a ?face-off? with her nemesis, Senator Panfilo Lacson, ex-civilian agent Mary Ong alias ?Rosebud? announced on Monday her plans to run for Manila mayor.

"Ping [the senator?s nickname] Lacson made me decide to run. This is the time I've long waited for, to have a face-off with Ping," Ong told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo soon after Lacson announced his plan to run for Manila mayor at a weekly forum at the Manila Hotel the same day.

Ong claimed Lacson, who she had earlier linked him to the illegal drugs trade and kidnap for ransom operations, had "no right" to run for Manila.

"I will run because I want to go head-to-head with Ping, wherever he goes," said Ong, who has been under the custody of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) since exposing Lacson's alleged links to the illegal drugs trade and kidnap-for-ransom operations.

"I have no lineup, I have no resources. I can work with anyone except Ping who is linked to illegal drugs and kidnapping," she said, adding, "[I am] the very first woman mayor of Manila."

Armed Forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro said Ong hosted the news briefing without clearance from the Armed Forces Public Information Office (PIO).

"This is personal. The ISAFP has nothing to do with my decision," Ong said, when asked if her guards allowed her to reveal her political plans to media.

Ong also belittled the support Lacson would get from the Chinese-Filipino community, which backed his presidential campaign in 2004, saying: "Blood is thicker than water. I have Chinese blood, Lacson does not," she said.

Ong, 50, said she has been a registered voter in Manila since 1977.

She said she had lived in Manila for 45 years until she was transferred to an ISAFP safehouse in 2001.



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