Cebu lawmaker leaves Teodoro for Villar

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Monday, March 29, 2010

CEBU CITY -- Representative Nerissa Soon-Ruiz confirmed Sunday that she will support the presidential campaign of Senator Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Pary (NP), saying Villar and his wife have gained her confidence in a “long and close relationship.”

The congresswoman, now a candidate for Mandaue City mayor, said she intends to continue supporting Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and vice gubernatorial candidate Glenn Soco.

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Soon-Ruiz said she and her council ticket have tendered their resignation from Lakas-NUCD-CMD and are ready to submit a courtesy resignation to Governor Garcia as allies of One Cebu party.

“After consultations with my leaders and political allies in Mandaue City, I realized that most, if not all, of them would like to support a presidential bet that has the interest of our city in his heart,” Soon Ruiz said in a press statement.

“My leaders and political allies are clear about their choice and as head of Nagkahiusang Mandauehanon, I agree with them and we have reached a consensus. We have decided to support a presidential candidate that I am very confident will not turn his back on the people of Mandaue,” she said.

The statement did not explain her slate’s misgivings about Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro, whom One Cebu has endorsed since November last year.

Soon-Ruiz said that in Congress, where she is finishing her third consecutive term, she has worked closely with Villar and his wife Representative Cynthia Villar.

“Our working relationship assures me that he will be there for Mandaue when he becomes president,” the congresswoman said.

Of her support for the governor, Soon-Ruiz was clear.

“We believe that Governor Garcia deserves another term as she has ably served the people of Cebu Province for the last six years,” she said.

One Cebu spokesperson Rory Jon Sepulveda would not comment on Ruiz’s standing as far as the party is concerned, because as of the interview, there was no formal announcement yet of the congresswoman’s resignation from the administration party.

“That’s her choice. One Cebu will have to act on it because One Cebu is for Gibo,” he said of Soon-Ruiz’s decision to abandon Teodoro for Villar.

In July 2009, the Lakas-Kampi-CMD designated Soon-Ruiz as interim vice president for the Visayas, making her part of the coalition’s national secretariat.

This year, she is also One Cebu’s candidate for mayor of Mandaue City.

Sepulveda said it will be up to the party president, Governor Garcia, and the members of the executive committee to decide whether the party can continue to support Soon-Ruiz.

Ruiz will face Mayor Jonas Cortes, who is backed by the Liberal Party and seeking his first re-election, in the May 2010 elections.

“Wait and see. Let’s sleep on it,” said Sepulveda. (AIV/JGA/Sun.Star Cebu)

Cebu lawmaker leaves teodoro villar

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