PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — DEFENSE Secretary Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro and his lawmaker-wife are set to join the newly merged Lakas-Kampi-CMD with seeming promise that some members of the largely pro-administration Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) would follow soon.
During the weekly Usaping Balita News Forum at Serye Restaurant in Quezon City Memorial Circle, Reggie Velasco, secretary general of the now defunct Kampi, said they are only awaiting the arrival of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who went to South Korea and Russia, to formalize the membership of Teodoro to the party.
“Naka-schedule na ang kanyang (Sec. Teodoro) pag-take ng oath. Hinihintay lang ang pagbalik ng Presidente,” said Velasco.
Since Teodoro resigned from NPC apparently after the supposed bickering with his uncle, business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, who is the chairman emeritus of the party, Velasco said it is expected that Teodoro’s wife, Tarlac Rep. Monica Prieto-Teodoro, will join her husband in the administration party.
“Malamang po, kasi ang partido ng asawa niya NPC, pero sinasabi ni Sec. Teodoro he resigned at partyless siya. Malamang po mag-asawa ang sasali,” said Velasco.
When asked who among Teodoro and Vice President Noli de Castro will come in first to the party as official member, Velasco said the Defense secretary will be the first one to enter Lakas-Kampi- CMD.
At the same time, Velasco expressed confidence that the arrival of Teodoro to the administration party will trigger the entry of some NPC members to Lakas-Kampi- CMD.
“Noong siya ay congressman, he is an acknowledged leader of NPC. Wherever Gilbert goes, the NPC members also go. We expect Sec. Teodoro to bring with him probably NPC and members of other political parties,” said Velasco, referring to Teodoro as one of the original and respected leaders of NPC before.
He also said that the Lakas-Kampi- CMD party will be a formidable one and will not collapse as predicted by critics.
It will be recalled that Teodoro, once touted as the favorite nephew of Cojuangco, left the NPC apparently due to overwhelming support of his uncle to the presidential bid of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
Confirming his departure from NPC earlier, Teodoro claimed that there were members of NPC, which include governors, mayors and lawmakers, who are committed to support his presidential bid.