MANILA-(1st UPDATE)-Senators Manuel 'Manny' Villar of the Nacionalista Party (NP) and Senator Loren Legarda of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) are set to announce their team-up for the 2010 elections on Tuesday afternoon, sources told ABS-CBN News.
Asked to comment on the report, Legarda said she will discuss her platform at the scheduled 3:30 p.m. event at the Laurel House in Mandaluyong City, practically confirming that she has teamed up with the real estate tycoon for the May 2010 polls.
“Pupunta ako ng Shaw Boulevard [location of the Laurel House] bukas para magladlad ng aking makatao, makabayan at makakalikasan na plataporma,” she told reporters at the Senate.
Legarda confirmed that she has been invited to attend the NP event. She also dropped a hint that she has decided to run with Villar.
“Orange and green look good together,” she said.
Orange is Villar’s campaign color, while Legarda is projecting herself as a "green" candidate by highlighting environmental issues such as climate change.
Villar, on the other hand, had earlier joked that his number two "man," who may turn out to be just a woman, is "makakalikasan" or pro-environment.
To battle Gibo-Edu, Noynoy-Mar
Villar’s announcement on Tuesday comes at the heels of the declaration of the tandem last Friday (Nov. 13) of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD, Gilbert ‘Gibo’ Teodoro and actor-TV host Edu Manzano.
On Monday, Senators Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III and Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II accepted their nomination as presidential and vice-presidential candidates respectively of the Liberal Party (LP).
Villar and Legarda both trailed Aquino and Roxas in the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted October 22 - 30 and released November 16 by the polling firm.
Villar had 19%, while Aquino garnered 44% voter preference for president.
On the other hand, Legarda had 24%, second to Roxas’s 37% voter preference for vice-president.
Meanwhile, Villar’s declaration on Tuesday also marks the first year of his removal as Senate president.
In November 17 last year, Villar resigned from the post following Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s allegations that he ordered the "double insertion" of P200 million in the 2008 budget for the realignment of the C-5 road extension project.
The realignment would have purportedly benefited Villar’s real estate companies, Adelfa Properties and Golden Haven Memorial Park, both located in Parañaque City.
Legarda withdrew her support for Villar last year, strengthening the opposition against the embattled Senate president.
Legarda explained on Tuesday that her actions then were part of "a process" in the legislative proceedings. She declined to confirm if she will vote in favor of Villar now with regards to a pending ethics complaint in the Senate against Villar. -- with a report from Lynda Jumilla, ABS-CBN News