Monday, January 07, 2008

De Castro may contend in 2010

Vice-President said he can serve the country if given a ‘longer term’

By Francis Earl A. Cueto, Manila Times Reporter

VICE-President Noli de Castro strongly hinted on Sunday of his intentions to drop his hat into the 2010 presidential race, stating that he can still serve the country better on a longer term.

In a statement, de Castro said that there are still more and bigger things that he can still do.

“In my three years of serving as Vice-President, I’ve identified the leading problems of the country and those that need to be solved for the welfare of our people,” de Castro said.

However, de Castro said that it is not yet the time for him to make a categorical statement if he will run or not in the 2010 elections.

“If I declare my intention to run as president, I expect that it would be hard for me to fully perform my duties. I expect that some political sectors would put political color on all my goals and civic activities,” said de Castro.

De Castro made the statement after Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said that the vice-president is the most formidable foe the opposition can face.

Talks about possible contenders for the country’s top post in 2010 have been going around recently, with Senate President Manuel Villar, Senators Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, Loren Legarda and Panfilo Lacson among the names being dropped.

Other presidential aspirants are Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando, Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.

Talks about contenders for the 2010 presidential elections became loud after former President Joseph Estrada undertook various medical missions in remote areas in Metro Manila in what critics see as a move to win back his popularity in preparation for another run for the Palace in 2010.

United opposition wants caution

Meanwhile, United Opposition (UNO) president and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay over the weekend cautioned presidential aspirants of the 2010 elections, saying that talks and speculations at this point are premature. He added that political parties should instead focus their energy on pressing problems.

“Every one of us should bear in mind that notwithstanding all the noise there are still many problems that has yet to be resolved. The focus should be on how to solve the country’s problems such as poverty, crime incidence, peace and order problem, human rights violation among others,” Binay said.

Binay is being touted upon as the opposition’s standard-bearer in the 2010 election.

The UNO president added that while there’s nothing wrong in political parties and figures to “sound-off” their plans for the 2010 presidential election, the opposition will continue its role as a fiscalizer and will not stop being a critic of the present administration.
-- With James Konstantin Galvez

No comments: