Gibo sure of getting party backing

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — A DAY after Sen. Noynoy Aquino declared his presidential bid, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Jr. projected a possible “Cojuangco-Cojuangco” fight in the May 2010 elections.

The Defense chief is one of the presidentiables being strongly considered by Lakas-Kampi-CMD. But up to now, there is no confirmation as to who will be the party’s standard bearer.

Projected by his camp as an unblemished young leader, Teodoro is almost sure he will get the party’s endorsement.

Some quarters said Teodoro may be jumping the gun and using Noynoy’s candidacy to advance his own interest. Being a Cojuangco, he too may have the popular support of the people and this can help him win. But whether his cousin’s seeming popularity is enough to convince other members of Lakas-Kampi-CMD to make him their standard-bearer is still a big question mark.

Teodoro’s claim to fame is the war in Mindanao and other national security issues while Noynoy was urged by the public to run and continue his parents’ legacy.

Meanwhile, Malacañang has indicated that it is not yet giving up on Vice President Noli de Castro.

Executive Secretary Eduarto Ermita said De Castro has yet to be sworn into the party and was only sounded off by President Macapagal-Arroyo. He said Teodoro and MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando, an original party mate, are strong contenders as it is agreed upon that the standard bearer has to come from party members.

Ermita said the party will meet this weekend for the formal announcement of its standard bearer next week.

In a related event, Teodoro thanked US Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki for his continuing support to the Filipino veterans’ war claims. He also called on Sen. Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Bob Filner of California, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, to help the war veterans.

“I have long felt that the US has shortchanged the Philippines….We’re going to make up for that,” Inouye said.