Panlilio joins LP, vows boost for Noynoy-Mar

Pampanga Governor Eddie Panlilio will be sworn in on Thursday as a Liberal Party (LP) member, hoping to help push the candidacies of Senators Benigno Aquino III and Manuel Roxas II as president and vice president, respectively, in 2010, an LP official said on Monday.

Chito Gascon, LP director general, said their party is making preparations for the oath-taking in Cubao, Quezon City.
“We’re excited about the prospect of Among Ed joining us in the LP,” he said in a telephone interview.
Panlilio, a Catholic priest, withdrew his plan to run for president and opted to support Aquino’s bid.

He said his LP membership did not mean that, by now, he was seeking reelection.

As LP coordinator in Pampanga, he said he would organize the slate in the home province of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that is dominated by the administration’s Lakas-Kampi-CMD.
“We will strengthen the LP and the candidacies of Noynoy and Mar by bringing good and ethical leaders to the party. The LP will also help us. Kapampangans, sustain the crusade for good governance,” said Panlilio.
Also on Monday, Vice Governor Joseller Guiao denied having applied to the LP or courted the party’s support for his bid as governor, said Gascon.

Gascon said Guiao has not given a hint or statement that he wanted to move to the LP.
“My support for Noynoy [Aquino] is not preconditioned by anything. The party is secondary. The closeness of our families is, to me, most important,” Guiao said in a separate interview.
His father, former Gov. Bren Guiao, was an ally of the late President Corazon Aquino, the senator’s mother who died on Aug. 1.
“I don’t think it’s going to change anything in terms of my personal decision and plan,” Guiao said of Panlilio’s membership in the LP.
“It’s not a problem for me. It’s better for the candidacy of Noynoy. But joining Among (Father) Ed in the party and working together with him is not possible because we have basic disagreements on ways to do things,” said Guiao.
As an independent candidate in 2007, Panlilio defeated Guiao’s running mate, former Board Member Lilia Pineda.

Panlilio said the search process for LP’s Pampanga slate started two weeks ago.

Guiao admitted talking to Aquino, the senator’s sisters and leaders of the Noynoy Aquino for President Movement.
“Strictly, I’m still with Lakas-Kampi-CMD. I have not resigned from [the party],” he said.
The administration party has yet to endorse Guiao as its official candidate for governor.

From Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon, November 9, 2009


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