MANILA, Philippines - Seeing an end to his political career, lawyer Adel Tamano has resigned from the Nacionalista Party (NP).
In an interview with ANC’s Headstart on Thursday, Tamano finally cut his ties with the political party “because I disagree with the things that happened during the campaign, especially the black propaganda.”
Tamano had been vocal about leaving the party while the campaign was under way, but decided to hang on until the very end out of respect for its standard-bearer, Senator Manuel Villar, Jr.
“I don’t want to hurt the Villars. They are very good to me, on a personal level. They are very decent people, good people. If I had resigned [then], it would have been a deadly blow to Senator Villar and my party-mates…,” he said.
He said Villar was also one of the reasons why he bolted the Genuine Opposition in 2009. He then joined NP as part of its senatorial slate.
Leaving the party this time meant there were some issues that did not fit his moral and ethical standards.
Tamano is referring to the black propaganda aimed against then presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
An NP supporter, former National Power Corp. President Guido Delgado, had admitted releasing to the media copies of a report on Aquino’s mental health, which turned out to be fake.
Tamano said he believes this incident dragged down Villar’s numbers.
He said issues that came after, including former President Joseph Estrada’s allegations, were nothing.
Estrada alleged Villar influenced the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to approve a request to release shares in his real estate firm despite a strict lock-up period.
“We lost the election long before that....when we veered away from the debate of competence and track records to propaganda and mudslinging,” he said.
Had the party focused on Villar’s competence, he could have easily given Aquino the competition, he said.
Looking back, Tamano said “nawalan kami ng kumpiyansa sa sarili (we lost trust in ourselves). We relied too much on the ads…he is more than the ad and the song. This guy is one who has achieved a lot of things.”
Back to private law
Tamano is firm, however, he will not be joining Aquino’s Liberal Party, or any other party for that matter.
Now that the elections are behind him, he said that he now wants to focus more on his family. He is also active now with different non-government organizations seeking social justice.
“To be honest, I really don’t have any political plans anymore. [Whether it’s 2013 or 2016], if you ask me now, that’s the farthest thing on my mind…This new administration, I want them to succeed…After the elections, no matter what party you are in, we should support him,” he added.
Asked if he would give his nod if invited to be part of Aquino’s media relations team or the peace panel, Tamano said he would be willing to work as a “consultant.”
Spokesman for GMA?
Tamano admitted to missing his life then, of working in a private law firm.
A lawyer should be ready to provide legal representation to anyone, popular or not, he said.
There is one exception though: former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
He said someone close to Arroyo offered that he become spokesman and lawyer for the now congresswoman. He, however, declined.
“As a lawyer, masama to just get the popular ones and the innocent but unpopular will never have lawyers…More important than getting stoned, may paninindigan ako…I would make a lousy spokesman for [Arroyo],” he said.
He also jokingly said “my wife would never have talked to me after that.”