Vilma 'respects' Edu VP bid

by Reyma Buan-Deveza, and Boy Villasanta

Posted at Nov 13 2009 06:45 PM | Updated as of Nov 15 2009 11:41 PM

MANILA - Batangas Governor Vilma Santos said she respects the decision of ex-husband Eduardo "Edu" Manzano to run for Vice President in 2010.

Manzano will be the running mate of Lakas Kampi presidential bet and Defense Secretary Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro.

In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News, Santos said she "is respecting" the decision of Manzano, with whom she has a son, Luis Philip "Lucky" Manzano. The pair married in 1984, but they divorced after some years.

"[Nirerespeto ko siya] katulad ng paggalang ko sa ibang mga politikong may kanya-kanya paniniwala sa serbisyong gusto nilang ibigay sa bansa," Santos said.

(I respect him just as I respect other politicians who have their own beliefs on how to serve the country.)

Lakas Kampi vice president Ronaldo Puno announced that Manzano is running for president at a press conference in Shangri-La Makati on Friday (November 13).

The announcement came weeks after Manzano resigned as Optical Media Board (OMB) chairman and ended his stint as the host of game show "Game K N B?"

Prior to Manzano, Teodoro asked several politicians to run as his VP in 2010 - including Sen. Loren Legarda, Sen. Miguel Zubiri, and Sen. Bong Revilla - but they declined for various reasons.

Surprise move

Manzano's decision to accept Teodoro's invitation to be his running mate came as a surprise to people in the political scene, since Manzano was reportedly supposed to join the Liberal Party's (LP) senatorial slate in 2010.

Early Thursday night, Santos's associates swore that Manzano would stick to his plans for a senatorial bid, until it was announced otherwise.

Santos, dubbed a "Star for All Seasons", was reportedly being considered for the VP post but she declined.

Manzano's oath-taking ceremony under the LP was cancelled last Thursday. The LP is fielding Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III for president and Senator Mar Roxas for vice-president.

Manzano said that Puno, who has been his mentor since he entered politics, played a big role in convincing him to run for vice-president under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD banner.

Manzano said that even before he agreed to be Teodoro's running mate, he knew that the outgoing Defense Chief "possesses all the qualities that are necessary to move this country forward."

"I would like to hitch my wagon with that of the good Secretary, and be part of his team that would push the Filipinos' future," he said.

Who is Edu?

Eduardo "Edu" Barrios Manzano was born September 14, 1955 in San Francisco, California. At 17, he entered the US military and served for 4 years.

He settled in the Philippines in the 1970s and became a ramp model. He was spotted by fashion designer Christian Espiritu, who cast Manzano in his first film "Alaga."

Also known as "Doods", Manzano won as Makati vice-mayor in 1998. In 2001, he ran for mayor in Makati but lost to incumbent Mayor Jejomar Binay.

He was reported to have eyed a Senate seat in 2007, but withdrew for lack of funds.

In February 2004, President Arroyo appointed Manzano chairman of OMB, where he served for 5 years. Last August 20, Manzano resigned as OMB chief and was replaced by acton star Ronnie Ricketts.

Manzano is a co-founder of the non-profit organization called "Ako Mismo" and was the president of the Katipunan ng mga Artista ng Pelikulang Pilipino at Telebisyon (Actors Guild of the Film Academy of the Philippines) in 1995.

He was also the host of game show franchises like "Weakest Link" and "1 vs. 100."

Aside from Santos, Manzano was once married to actress Maricel Soriano. He is currently engaged to ABS-CBN news anchor Pinky Webb. With reports from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News.