Tolentino declares bid to run as Senator in 2016 polls

By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, Sept. 29 (PNA) – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino said on Tuesday that he is set to file his resignation letter to President Benigno Aquino III as he formally announced running for a national post in next year’s election.

Tolentino decided to run as Senator because of the endorsement of local officials from Cavite, his homeprovince.

”With that I accept the endorsement and hereby declare my candidacy for senator knowing fully well that our leaders will work hard not just for the province but for our country. I will submit my resignation to the President within the next few days, knowing fully well that I carry the flag of Cavite and Cavite should always be the prime province of the Philippines,” Tolentino made his announcement in front of local government officials of Cavite led by Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, Gov. Jonvic Remulla and vice-governor Jolo Revilla and more than 100 supporters at Aristocrat Restaurant in Manila after he was challenged by them to run as senator.

The MMDA Chief also expressed gratitude for the endorsement from the league of the mayors.

”Nagpapasalamat po ako sa endorsement coming from the mayors League. Ipinakita po nation ang pagkakaisa. Lahat po ng magkakatunggaling pamilya. Remulla, Revilla at Maliksi ay nagsamasama po dito para ipakita pong muli na ang Cavite ang nangungunang lalawigan ng Republika ng Pilipinas,” said Tolentino, a former mayor of Tagaytay City, formally took over the reins of the agency on July 2010.

Tolentino was elected as mayor of Tagaytay City for three consecutive terms from 1995 to 2004 and served as president of the League of Cities of the Philippines from 2001 to 2004, and was awarded as Most Outstanding City Mayor of the Philippines several times by various organizations.

Tolentino, who will be running under the administration backed Liberal Party (LP), said his platform will focus primarily on the environment.

Asked who will takeover his post as MMDA Chief, Tolentino answered it’s up to the president to decide.

He said being the MMDA chair was a challenge as he was always looking for possible solutions to the problems of Metro Manila.

“It has always been my challenge to address the concerns of Metro Manila with 16.5 million population. Rapid urbanization, traffic, floods, pollution etcetera,” he said.

He pointed out that the key solution to the problems of Metro Manila lies within the heart of Cavite as the province has vast potentials.

“Cavite has vast potentials. Sangley Airport, a massive industrialized estate spanning Carmona, General Trias, Dasmarinas, Imus, going to Rosario and further south ang susi po sa unemployment ng Metro Manila ay ang lalawigan ng Cavite,” he explained.

“Kung ano man po ang nagiging suliranin ng Metro Manila, the heart and soul of the Philippines, lahat po ng solution ay manggagaling sa dakilang lalawigan ng Cavite kung saan inang nagsimula ang ating unang Republika,” he added. (PNA)