Lakas-Kampi not falling apart, says party exec

By Karen Reyes-Caringal, ANC

Posted at Nov 02 2009 11:28 PM | Updated as of Nov 05 2009 09:02 AM

MANILA - The ruling Lakas-Kampi CMD is not in any risk of falling apart ahead of the 2010 elections. This was the clarification given by party Secretary-General Gabriel Claudio in an interview with ANC's Top Story on Monday.

Reacting to reports quoting Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone, Claudio said that the governor himself has clarified the newspaper article that came out Monday.

"I didn't say Lakas-Kampi will disintegrate. I only said the party will face problems because of some conflicts at the local level," Claudio said, reading a text message from Evardone.

Claudio also said, most party members who have chosen to leave, do so due to local dynamics.

He denied the so-called defection of some local officials have left a void within the administration party.

"The greater problem of greater void happens if problems at the local level were to persist and some of these conflicts are beyond resolution. I guess some members quitting in reaction or out of impatience over the presence of their competitors or rivals within the party is a blessing or a tool. In a way, it spares us the agony of having to mediate these cases," Claudio explained.

He also played down the effect losing some governors would have on the ruling coalition.

"Who's to say losing a governor is worse or better than losing a congressman?" Claudio asked.

Lakas-Kampi CMD is set to hold its convention in Manila on November 19.

Claudio said they are confident a runningmate for standard-bearer Gilberto Teodoro Jr. would have been chosen by then.

Lakas-Kampi CMD is also looking at a possible coalition with the Nationalist People's Coalition, whose members include Sen. Loren Legarda.

"Since Sen. Legarda is one of those mentioned in media, let me say that the outcome or choice of runningmate from administration will probably depend on willingness and ability of parties NPC and Lakas-Kampi to have a coalition for next year," Claudio said when asked about the names on the shortlist for Teodoro's runningmate.

Claudio likewise put to rest speculation among those who may be tapped for a tandem with the outgoing National Defense chief is Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.