Senator Manny Villar, who is eyeing the presidency in 2010, yesterday said the Nacionalista Party could field a gubernatorial candidate and other local bets in Negros Occidental next year.
But Villar, who was in Bacolod as speaker at the joint induction of the Rotary District 3850 governor, club presidents and officers, told the DAILY STAR the NP decision to field candidates will depend on whether it can reach alliances with those already intending to run.
If he gets the support of existing local contenders, then there will be no need for the NP to field more candidates, Villar said.
The NP decision to field local candidates will depend on negotiations and will be done on a case-to-case basis, he said.
In his speech before the Rotary last night, Villar said he would stress his advocacy to promote a “culture of entrepreneurship” in the Philippines to move the country forward.
The senator has repeatedly stressed the need to empower Filipinos to invest and engage in small and medium enterprises, which employ 70 percent of the country’s labor force.
He said the fact that he is leading in the presidential surveys serves as an inspiration for him to continue his crusade to help the poor and Overseas Filipino Workers.
Villar pointed out that he was born to a simple family in Moriones, Tondo, Manila and that his father, Manuel Montalban Villar Sr., a government employee, came from Cabatuan, Iloilo.
The senator said that, at a very young age, he was already helping his mother sell shrimp and fish in the Divisoria Market. “I learned from my mother what it takes to be an entrepreneur,” he said.
The senator said he believes there will be three to four contenders for president in 2010 with some of those aspiring for the post now settling for the vice presidency, or opting to run for other positions by next year.
Villar also said he may not attend the State of the Nation Address of the president if administration allies plan to use the occasion to convene a Constituent Assembly.
Villar said he is opposed to amending the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly and will not be allowed to be used, that is why he is studying whether to attend the SONA or not.
Meanwhile, will it be a Marañon-Zayco tandem for the top posts of Negros in 2010?
Sagay Mayor Alfredo Maranon’s, a member of the Nationalist People’s Alliance and president of the United Negros Alliance, said if he decides to run for governor next year his likely running mate will be Kabanakalan Mayor Pedro Zayco.
The running mate of Marañon’s brother, Gov. Joseph Marañon, who passed away last year, in three elections was incumbent governor, Isidro Zayco (Lakas CMD).
Zayco, however, appears to be eyeing a comeback as mayor of Kabankalan City.*CPG