sec. alberto romulo supports aquino – a major blow to LAKAS-KAMPI and teodoro
Romulo favors Aquino
But Malacañang tells execs: ‘Toe the line’
By Christian V. Esguerra, Leila Salaverria, Inquirer Southern Luzon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:48:00 09/22/2009
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang Monday served notice to its troops to “toe the line” after Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo—one of its most senior Cabinet officials—broadly indicated his support for Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the Liberal Party’s standard-bearer in the 2010 presidential election.
News that Romulo was favoring the senator came the same day that another administration official—Commissioner Jaime Jacob of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC)—announced he was resigning his post in order to support the presidential bid of the late former President Corazon Aquino’s only son.
Jacob’s resignation was the latest sign of cracks in the facade of administration unity and came just two months before the official start of the campaign for the May 2010 national elections.
Romulo was in London accompanying no less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself in her three-nation foreign trip when he indicated in an interview with an ABS-CBN correspondent where his heart lay.
“In 2007, I voted for Noynoy Aquino [for senator], so my ties with the Aquino family have been deep and lasting,” Romulo said in the interview. “I’ve always been with Tita Cory and voted for the Aquinos.”
Asked if he would support Noynoy, Romulo answered: “I have voted for the Aquinos all the time.”
romulo declaring he is supporting noynoy aquino and not gilbert teodoro, LAKAS-KAMPI and admin presidential candidate is a major blow and embarrassment to the administration and teodoro’s candidacy.
it is not as much as number of votes as romulo is not a politician nor do we think he has a political base but it is a huge psychological and morale disaster for the administration party. romulo is a senior official of the arroyo administration.
what makes this more telling is that he is not the only one who is moving away from the administration and ruling party.
vice president noli de castro was the first major political figure who did that. de castro though he ran as an independent during the election is still part of the arroyo administration.
he was courted ardently by arroyo herself to be the standard bearer of the party, so much as saying he is the anointed one, but de castro declined to be part of it.
add to that the fact that de castro has been consistently one of the leaders in the presidentiable polls making him the most viable candidate among admin/ruling party affiliated presidentiables. that underscores the magnitude of de castro’s refusal to join the ruling party.
another arroyo administration official, Commissioner Jaime Jacob of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) has announced his resignation from his post to campaign for aquino.
for these defections, if you can call it that, to the aquino camp is happening too soon. the campaign period has not even began yet with many blanks still open among the political parties. these things usually occur towards the end of the campaign period.
for it to occur this early is definitely bad news for the ruling/admin party. it is starting too early and can create a snow-ball effect. more admin officials and ruling party members might follow romulo and jacob’s lead and that will mean the admin/ruling party’s campaign for the presidency might collapse even before it starts or right after it starts.
philippine politicians are known to shift their alliances to the team that has the most likelihood of winning regardless of stand or principles. the shift might be seen by them as a major crack and a significant weakness giving the ruling/admin party as the losing political party.
if this happens, the ruling and admin party is again another inch moved towards the margins of philippine political life.