Gibo out to take presidency via 'positive campaign'

By Karen Reyes-Caringal, ANC

Posted at Nov 20 2009 01:39 PM | Updated as of Nov 27 2009 09:04 PM

MANILA - Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard bearer Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro said he will take the presidency next year by launching a "positive campaign."

In an interview with ANC's "The Big Picture" on Thursday, Teodoro vowed not to let political bickering, not even his controversial family ties, get in the way of his campaign.

"It's time we put political bickering in the back alley. As president, you have the ability to work with even your strongest political opponent. If we are able to get through this election without division, if we are able to carry this election on positive notes, that's a very important thing we will have achieved," Teodoro said.

"You'll have to lead after you win. You have to get the people positive and upbeat to follow you. Having started a negative campaign, you start your administration with a division that's probably incurable. That's not the way to go, not the way I want my administration to start," he added.

Teodoro shot down rumors that his presidential bid under the ruling coalition further distanced himself from his uncle, businessman and Nationalist People's Coalition Chairman Emeritus Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco."

Despite a difference in political views, Teodoro stressed that he and his uncle are in good terms. He said his relationship with Cojuangco will not in any way affect his presidential campaign.

"Our relationship is private and will remain so. We have parted political ways. I represent something aside from Gilbert Teodoro now. I don't stand for myself and personalities. Personal relationships should not come into the picture," he explained, adding that he is not seeking his uncle's political support.

When asked about his cousin, Liberal Party standard bearer Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, Teodoro said: "In the same vein, as Noynoy is my cousin, I will certainly not have the temerity to ask him to support me. Right now, we're public persons and we stand for what we represent."

Teodoro has yet to address his low ratings on presidential surveys. But should he win in the 2010 elections, Teodoro said that he will not interfere in any court case even if it involves his family, such as the coco levy fund issue.

Cojuangco, his uncle, is the chairman of food-to-power conglomerate San Miguel Corp.

"No way. I will not violate the ethics of my position for that. I can separate my public persona from my private persona. That's not difficult for me. The court should decide it. I have to appoint credible people, [those who are] transparent, so that any decision made will not be subject to any undue connotation. I will not interfere in those cases," he said.

But if he loses in the presidential race, Teodoro said he will no longer pursue his political career. He said he would "most likely" devote himself to his family and then pursue what he can contribute to policy in reforms and security as a private individual.