Political Forum Shows Candidates' True "Colors"

Jacob, LRV trade barbs, Dato snubs forum
Monday, April 19th, 2010

NAGA CITY (14 April) --Some high profile politicians in Bikol on Monday night had the chance to tell the public their presidential bets and campaign for them at the same time.

In a political forum in the Plaza Quezon here in the city, Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte (3rd District) said he would only vote for the candidate who both had executive and legislative experience-obviously referring to Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manuel "Manny" Villar.

He hurled a tirade against Liberal Party standard bearer Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. "Noynoy Aquino would lose. How can he resolve the problems of the country when he can't even solve the problems in Hacienda Luisita," asked Villafuerte.

Villafuerte added that Aquino's legislative experience would not be enough.

Villafuerte and his son, Camarines Sur Governor Luis Raymund Villafuerte, jumped to the camp of Villar after having been staunch allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Former Budget Secretary Roland "Nonoy" Andaya Jr (1st District), offered a passionate endorsement of administration party standard bearer, former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro.

He compared the 2010 presidential race to the time when the Jews were made to choose between Jesus and Barabbas.

"We should not choose who is popular. The Jews chose Barabbas and crucified Jesus Christ. Now we may be doing that again, choosing Barabbas over Jesus Christ, if we would choose the popular."

He said it was not enough to vote for a presidential bet just because of the good works of his parents. He was obviously referring to Aquino.

"Let us vote for someone who has Galing at Talino. Kaya ako Gibo ako! Andaya was referring to the slogan of Teodoro.

Fermin Mabulo, Nacionalista Party congressional bet, also defended his decision to support Villar.

"What we need is a unifying leader who can unite the [extreme] left, the middle left, the center, the middle right, and the [extreme] right. That's why I am rooting for Villar, said Mabulo.

"Dati kay Gibo ako kaya Green, tapos kay Noynoy dahil yellow, ngayon kay Villar dahil orange.  Dati hilaw ako, nagyon hinog na, orange na orange," he said.

James Jacob, LP congressional bet, said the problem with the present administration is its lack of credibility. "That's why if we have to elect another President, it should be someone with credibility and integrity. That's why we should elect Noynoy."

Jacob was a member of the executive department under President Arroyo but he said he resigned when he learned that Noynoy would run for President.

The political forum was sponsored by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting PPCRV).

PPCRV said the forum was meant to enlighten the voters on who should be the proper candidate to vote this coming election.

It said the forum was also meant to share to the public the opinions of the candidates on pressing issues affecting the locality and to make them (candidates) accountable to the public.

Sparks flew high during the forum especially during the one on one question and answer part between James Jacob and Luis R. Villafuerte, wherein the two rivals exchanged hard-hitting but friendly comments against each other.

Below the grandstand, their supporters were also exchanging cheers, even holding wands and banners to support their bets.

Noticeably absent during the forum was presidential son and Congressional bet Dato Arroyo (2nd District).