‘Game Na’

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — “GAME na!”

The familiar words were uttered by former Optical Media Board chairman Edu Manzano as he accepted the nomination of Lakas-Kampi-CMD as its vice presidential candidate in next year’s elections.

“A daunting challenge that I find most difficult to reject has just been hurled at my feet… hayaan n’yong isigaw ko sa harap ninyo, sa harap ng ating susunod na pangulo si Gibo Teodoro, sa harap ng sambayanang Pilipino, na ang aking tugon sa hamon ng pagkakataon ay ‘Game na’,” Manzano said in his acceptance speech, saying the two words that signaled contestants’ readiness to play in his popular tv game show “Game Ka na Ba?”

Teodoro also exuded confidence in his acceptance speech.

“Ipinapangako ko, hindi kayo mabibigo. Abangan n’yo sa May 10, ang mananalo ay sina Gibo at Edu,” Teodoro said at the end of his acceptance speech in yesterday’s national convention of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

The convention formally ratified the nominations of Teodoro and Manzano as the party’s candidates for president and vice president. Also during the convention, President Macapagal-Arroyo turned over the party leadership to Teodoro and the party adopted the resolutions ratifying its constitution and by-laws.

Teodoro thanked his family, President Macapagal-Arroyo, Manzano and party officials for trusting him with the task of preserving the present administration even as he exhorted everyone to help him bring the party’s message to the people.

“We stand for life, liberty and prosperity. We stand for shared sacrifice. We stand for excellence. Tell them that we shall manage our future. Tell them that victory for the Filipino people is the destiny of our party. Tell them that the future is here and now,” he said.

While his rating in recent surveys had improved a little, Teodoro is still the least popular among presidential candidates.

Teodoro said he would owe his victory to every Filipino voter who has yet to see and hear him even as he vowed to run his campaign by focusing on what he could do to serve the people.

“Sa administration mahirap mangampanya dahil ang pinakamadaling kampanya ay bumatikos…but tayo we campaign while performing because we are in a position to do so,” he said.

Capable

The party’s newly-elected president Saranggani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez extolled Manzano.

Manzano said he never sought the nomination and by the same token he never turned his back on any call to serve the country and its people.

“Nais ko pong linawin na sa aking pagtakbo hindi ko po tutularan si Miguel Cotto, na tumakbo pero paatras sa laban nila ng ating pambansang kamao si Manny Pacquiao,” he said in jest.

He also took exception to criticisms about his credentials and capability to run for vice president citing his training and experience in the military and in the banking and shipping industries before he entered the field of entertainment and the political arena.

While going up the stage for his speech, somebody from the crowd shouted “pagwapuhan na lang (ang) laban!”

“When I accepted the offer to be the Vice Presidential candidate, marami ang nagtaas ng kilay. Wala daw akong ‘K’ dahil ako ay isang aktor at entertainment personality. Minaliit ang aking pagkatao. Ang tanong ko naman sa kanila, ang mga lawyer, doctor, engineer at mayayaman lang ba ang may puwang para magsilbi sa bayan?” Manzano said.

The multi-awarded actor and former chairman of the Optical Media Board (OMB) vowed to help the government to institute reforms and achieve economic growth.

Manzano lamented that his detractors “virtually made a wholesale condemnation of those in the entertainment industry as being unfit and incapable of providing competent leadership to our people.”

“What they probably do not realize is that in effect, they also question the intellectual capacity of everyday Filipino to decide who their leaders should be,” he stressed.

He said his record in public service as vice mayor of Makati City and chairman of the Optical Media Board is also open to public scrutiny.

“But beyond that and more than the purity of good intentions, I also offer my honest labor, my personal integrity and dedication to duty, fortified by my experience in local governance and law enforcement,” he said.