(Update) One slot for Willie in NP ticket--Villar


Posted at Aug 14 2009 05:52 PM | Updated as of Aug 15 2009 04:00 AM

MANILA - The Nacionalista Party (NP) will reserve a slot in its senatorial ticket for Wowowee host Willie Revillame if he decides to run for the Senate.

In a press conference on Friday, Senator Manuel Villar, president of the NP, said that if Revillame is willing to run for the Senate, he will reserve a slot for him.

"Oo, naman, very qualified naman si Willie, wala naman akong nakikitang problema kay Willie," Villar said. "Yun ay isang bagay na dapat niyang pagisipan." 

Villar visited Revillame in Tagaytay after he found out about the controversy involving Revillame's move to cut the live streaming of the late President Corazon Aquino's August 3 procession which was being shown simultaneously on Wowowee through an inset video.

Revillame's move irked many viewers and prompted him to go on indefinite leave from his popular entertainment show. Nearly 50,000 have expressed support for an online petition seeking Revillame's ouster from Wowowee.

Villar said that although he didn't get to watch that controversial Wowowee episode, he nonetheless wants to express his support for the popular host.

He said Revillame can play a big role in strengthening the NP, the country's oldest political party which Villar is rebuilding following years of poor party politics under its former leaders.

ABS-CBN News tried to reach Revillame for comment, but he declined to answer his phone, as of posting.

Tamano, Guingona sure bets

Villar also disclosed that Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto "TG" Guingona III and lawyer Adel Tamano will run for Senate under the NP ticket.

Villar likewise opened his party's doors to administration ally, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, who is eligible to run for another term.

Villar, a businessman who built a fortune from mass housing projects, led a June 2009 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on who is best leader to succeed President Arroyo in 2010.

Villar said former Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla hasn't decided if he is gunning for the Senate. However, Villar said he will also reserve a slot for him if he's interested. 

On Senator Santiago's criticisms on Friday against the political advertisements of her colleagues, Villar said he should not be included in these attacks since he uses his own money for his ads.

Villar told ABS-CBN News editors last Monday that the ads are a means to level the playing field against the more well-known presidential aspirants such as former movie actors like Joseph Estrada or broadcast journalists like Noli de Castro.

Villar said Santiago's hearing on Friday was about the use of government funds for infomercials of possible administration bets in 2010, which does not affect him since he uses private money.

He also said that he cannot be compelled to attend the Senate economic affairs committee hearings on premature campaigning due to parliamentary courtesy.

The NP also launched its spokesmen's pool, namely, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, TG Guingona, Adel Tamano, Gilbert Remulla, Rimpy Bondoc, Laguna Rep. Justin 'Timmy' Chipeco. -- report from Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News