PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — IT’S a toss-up between Vice President Noli de Castro and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro for the administration’s standard bearer for the 2010 elections.
Thus bared Press Secretary Cerge Remonde even as he quickly did not discount the possibility that outsiders could be President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s anointed one for the presidential derby next year.
De Castro has dominated the popularity rating game while Teodoro is a newcomer and yet to be surveyed.
Remonde also told a Palace briefing yesterday that presidential adviser on political affairs Gabby Claudio would make the formal announcement of the candidates of the administration sooner.
The Palace official also said that others in the list for consideration include Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando and Sen. Richard Gordon.
He also reiterated that political timbers from the Cabinet could be tapped for the senatorial slate of Mrs. Arroyo including Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, NEDA chief Ralph Recto, former Sen. Heherson Alvarez, Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, among others.
Earlier, Claudio disclosed that the administration’s standard bearer has been narrowed down to three, although he declined to identify them.
He said the administration will make their final choice based on the candidates’ winnability, qualifications, track record, and support for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Only after they have selected their presidential bet will they choose their vice-presidential candidate, he added.
But among those being mentioned include Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and Sen. Bong Revilla.
Meanwhile, Teodoro said he’s not harboring any ill feelings regarding the reports that of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) dropped him on the list of possible candidates for the presidential election.
Teodoro stressed that he sees no any problem with the issue, saying he had left the NPC since he assumed as the secretary of the Defense department.
He explained that since he accepted the position in the DND, it means that he already started his alliance with President Arroyo.