MANILA, Philippines - Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer Gilberto Teodoro on Friday reacted to remarks made by his aunt and cousin that he has been ungrateful to his uncle, Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) chair emeritus, Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr., who had supported his professional and political career.
"Issues of that nature are not proper issues for a presidential election. Issues of that nature do not affect the life of Juan de la Cruz by any stretch of imagination," Teodoro said.
His remarks were well applauded during the national convention of the Chamber of Thrift Banks in Makati City on Friday.
Teodoro said it's bad to assume that if "the patron has created you, the patron has made you, therefore the patron owns you."
"That kind of politics has beset the country for a long, long time," he added.
Teodoro said rifts within his family should not be made an election issue since these do not affect the lives of the Filipino people.
He said making these an election issue was "quite dangerous" as it "smacks of patronage politics."
Response to cousin Lisa
Teodoro was reacting to his cousin Lisa Cojuangco-Cruz, daughter of Danding, who commented on Thursday that she would not support him as she openly endorsed Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III of the Liberal Party.
"Sa akin, that's beside...beyond me already. Republika ng Pilipinas ang pinag-uusapan dito. Bansa ang pinag-uusapan, hindi isang pamilya, hindi ang pakiramdam ng tao, unless ang mindset mo, ikaw ang may-ari ng bansa (That's beside...beyond me already. The Republic of the Philippines is what's at stake here. It's about the nation, not about a single family, not about the feelings of a single person, unless your mindset is that you own the country)," Teodoro said.
Cojuangco-Cruz told ABS-CBN News in a campaign sortie of Aquino III that their family will support any presidential candidate but Teodoro.
She said her father felt insulted by Teodoro's decision to leave the NPC for the administration party, Lakas-Kampi-CMD.
"Masamang-masama ang loob ng daddy ko. He was given all the best, better than all the children. Basta na lang umalis. Walang kinalaman si GMA (President Arroyo). Lumaki ang ulo eh. Kailangan niyang bumaba (My daddy feels really bad. He was given all the best, better than all the children. He just went away. President Arroyo has nothing to do with this. He (Teodoro) became arrogant. He needs to look down)," Cruz said.
Anybody but Gibo
Last month, Danding's wife, Gretchen, told reporters that her husband would support any candidate except for Teodoro. (Read: Anybody but Gibo, says Danding's wife)
"Anybody but Gibo. Anybody," she told reporters, after being asked who her husband would support between Teodoro and their other nephew, Noynoy Aquino.
I'm just a wife that's why ga lain ang buot ko (sumasama ang loob ko) for my husband," she said in Ilonggo.
Mrs. Cojuangco said Teodoro failed to inform her husband that he was leaving the NPC to join Lakas-Kampi-CMD despite receiving help from Danding for the past 9 years.
She also belied reports that Teodoro and her husband are in good terms. -- With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News