PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — DEFENSE Secretary Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro begins his quest of the presidency in earnest Friday, formally joining the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD in a generational political shift pregnant with promise and meaning.
More than 200 party faithful, including the party’s top brass, are expected at the Lakas-Kampi headquarters in Greenhills to witness Teodoro’s oath-taking as the prized political jewel of the season, said Sen. Migz Zubiri, the party vice president for Mindanao.
No other newcomer to Lakas-Kampi has generated so much excitement — and raised higher expectations — about the future of the party and the new direction for the country politics as Teodoro has done.
“The party sees the country’s youth in him — all the idealism, audacity and can-do attitude needed to spark the country to a new plateau of economic growth and stability,” Zubiri said.
“He is the face of new politics that can confidently take over the country’s leadership,” Zubiri added.
A promise Teodoro is, but first he has to work hard to inch closer to the political objective.
After his oath-taking, he has to win the Lakas-Kampi presidential nomination — a tall order if the race were to develop as a two-man contest between him and Vice-President Noli de Castro, another party outsider bidding to join the ruling powerhouse.
Teodoro’s appeal to the party faithful, however, is universal — he is welcomed heartily by local officials, municipal and city mayors, governors and congressmen and the senior party leadership.
“He has charmed everyone with his intelligence, his knowledge of administration and governance, and his youthfulness,” Zubiri said.
These are attributes the young generation of party faithful are convinced will carry Lakas-Kampi to victory in the 2010 elections, Zubiri added.
Teodoro joins a party that just completed a full transition through a merger of Lakas CMD and Kampi, two of the most powerful, biggest and most organized political parties in the country with a nationwide machine of more than five million card-carrying members.
Add to that the Lakas-Kampi war chest, and the party — all things being equal — enjoys without a doubt an enormous advantage over the splintered political opposition.
Whoever the Lakas-Kampi bet will be, it is certain that he faces a divided opposition that will field two or perhaps three candidates.
That should give the ruling party more than an even chance to win the May 2010 elections and build on the remarkable legacy of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita, the party’s national president will administer the oath of membership, in the presence of Lakas-Kampi’s vice chairmen, Speaker Prospero Nograles and DILG Sec. Ronaldo Puno.
Also expected to grace the occasion are Political Adviser, Sec. Gabriel Claudio, Sec. Fancisco Duque, Sec. Raul Gonzalez, Sec. Silvestre Bello, Sec. Edgardo Pamintuan, Usec. Chavit Singson; Rep. Amado Bagatsing, Rep. Mary Ann Susano, Rep. Nanette Castelo-Daza, Rep. Del de Guzman, Rep. Victor Ortega, Rep. Edwin Uy, Rep. Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado, Rep. Albert Garcia, Rep. Angelito Gatlabayan, Rep. Danilo Ramon Fernandez, Rep. Joseph Violago, Rep. Danilo Suarez, Dep. Speaker Amelita Villarosa, Rep. Rodolfo Valencia, Rep. Antonio Kho, Rep. Jose Solis, Rep. Janette Garin, Rep. Roberto Cajes, Rep. Antonio Cuenco, Rep. Andres Salvacion, Rep. Carmen Cari, Rep. Candido Pancrudo, Rep. Jose Ma. Zubiri III, Rep. Anton Lagdameo, Rep. Thelma Almario, Rep. Faysah Dumarpa, Rep. Pangalian Balindong, Rep. Abdulmunir Arbison, Rep. Francisco Matugas, Rep. Manuel Agyao, Rep. Roque Ablan, Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo, Rep. Pedro Pancho, Rep. Jose Yap, Rep. Jeci Lapus, Gov. Telesforo Castilejos, Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin, Gov. Nestor Fongwan, Gov. Enrique Garcia, Gov. Sally Lee, Gov. Damian Mercado, Gov. Loreto Leo Ocampos, Gov. Arturo Uy, Gov. Jesus Sacdalan, Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Gov. Andal Ampatuan, Mayor Enrico Echiverri, Mayor Sigfrido Tiñga, Mayor Michael Fariñas, Mayor Amelita Navarro, Mayor Genaro Mendoza, Mayor Danilo Leyble, Mayor Arlene Arcillas-Nazareno, Mayor Jorge Almonte, Mayor Aniano Antalan, Mayor Jose Silvosa, Mayor Rodolfo Y. Gantuangco.