Recto: 12-0 for Team PNoy in Batangas a 'tall order'-A A +A
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
BATANGAS -- Senator Ralph Recto admitted Wednesday that a 12-0 sweep for the administration-backed Team PNoy in his home province in the May 13 elections will be a tall order for Batangas.
"We will try our best. It will be a tall order but we will do our best. The Liberal Party (LP) is strong in the province," said Recto, whose wife Vilma Santos is the province's incumbent governor.
Batangas has a voting population of 1.3 million. In 2010, then LP presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III got 62 percent of the votes in the province, according to Recto.
Recto, however, admitted that the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of former President Joseph Estrada and Vice President Jejomar Binay is also likely ensured of votes in Batangas. Binay's father was born in the province.
Senator Franklin Drilon, the campaign manager of the administration slate, is confident that the Batangueños will fully support the 12-man slate of Team PNoy.
"I don't think the votes will be split…but we expect a good show in Batangas," Drilon said.
Recto meanwhile said it is important for the administration to sweep the midterm elections for the 2016 presidential polls.
"We want to get a majority so you can pursue programs of administration. If you're able to deliver, then you have an advantage for 2016," Recto said.
Drilon earlier said that Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II will likely be the ruling LP's standard bearer in the next presidential elections.
Recto also rejected fears that Team PNoy candidates will be puppets of the Aquino administration if they are successful in the May polls.
"Senators are independent-minded. I'm confident that those chosen are all good candidates. I look forward to working with them there," said the senator, who himself, has disagreed with the LP on several issues, including the sin tax bill.
Former Las Piñas City representative Cynthia Villar also said the support of Team PNoy is not automatically given that they are candidates of the Aquino administration.
"If these projects are bad, then we will not support them. But I don't think the President will do that (implement bad projects)," Villar told reporters.
Meanwhile, the Team PNoy slate was welcomed in the provincial capitol by Governor Vilma Santos and Vice Governor Mark Leviste. Also present were the incumbent congressmen of the province as well as actor Christopher de Leon, who is running for Congress in the May polls.
Three of the Team PNoy candidates missed the Batangas sortie of the administration slate on Wednesday. They were re-electionist Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Sonny Trillanes IV, and Aquilino Pimentel III. Pimentel was represented by his mother during the sortie.
With local officials of Batangas as their audience, most of the administration bets said they will work for education reform, health, and livelihood programs. They also vowed to provide access to financing to small and medium businesses. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)