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Lakas-CMD chief: In democracy, anyone can run

/ 05:16 AM May 29, 2015
Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez  INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Upholding the democratic setup, the president of Lakas-CMD on Thursday said “anyone can run” in next year’s presidential election, including Sen. Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez made the remarks Thursday in denying an Inquirer report quoting him saying that Lakas-CMD was not afraid of facing Poe in 2016.

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In the report, Romualdez was asked about whether the party was afraid of Poe, who has emerged as among the viable administration candidates for the 2016 presidential election. He responded by saying: “This is a democracy, anyone can run, whether Grace or Binay or Mar.”

This, he said, was far from what the article said. The story, titled “Who’s afraid of Grace Poe? Not Lakas-CMD,” came out in the Inquirer on Wednesday.

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On Saturday, Romualdez accompanied US Ambassador Philip Goldberg in Tacloban City, now rebuilding from the devastation wrought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in November 2013. Goldberg led the turnover of a disaster-resilient school building constructed with funds from the US Agency for International Development.

Romualdez said the party would field its own candidate or coalesce with another party. He said the matter had yet to be decided since its leaders, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Sen. Bong Revilla, were detained.

“We in the minority will support the candidate that champions the welfare of the people. As of now, the only one championing the causes of the opposition is Vice President Binay,” he said.

Gratitude

Former Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, a Lakas member, had earlier indicated that Arroyo, a Pampanga lawmaker, might end up backing the candidacy of Binay.

Arroyo, detained at Veterans Memorial Medical Center on plunder charges, was grateful to Binay for his call to the Aquino administration to place her under house arrest, Suarez said. Arroyo is suffering from a degenerative bone disease.

“That gratefulness might turn into a political decision,’’ Suarez said. “It’s not just her but the whole political machinery of Lakas will support the Vice President.”

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Romualdez thanked the Americans for their support, and appealed for continued help to rebuild Yolanda-stricken areas by putting in place sustainable rehabilitation and recovery initiatives.

“We continue to provide services to survivors of Yolanda and other calamities,” said the lawmaker, who has advocated disaster preparedness, resiliency and institutionalized emergency and disaster management. TJ Burgonio

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TAGS: Election, Lakas-CMD, Martin Romualdez
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