Palace: Noynoy retreat a 'gimmick'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 03 2009 05:30 PM | Updated as of Sep 04 2009 01:34 AM

MANILA - A spokesman of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Thursday labeled as gimmickry Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s retreat in Mindanao to deeply discern over his possible run for president in 2010.

“We respect whatever gimmickry or ways that he was to arrive at his decision,” presidential spokesperson Anthony Golez told reporters.

Golez said the supposed discernment of Aquino and his plan to declare whether he is running for president in 2010 after the 40th day (which falls on September 9) from the death of President Corazon Aquino could just be part of a political strategy.

The presidential spokesman refused to believe that Aquino’s decision to go on a week-long retreat in Mindanao was spontaneous.

“Everybody, especially political leaders have forward planning. They think 10 steps ahead. If that’s part of the plan, we respect that,” he said.

Golez, meanwhile, belittled the Liberal Party’s (LP) claim that there is a “people’s call” for Aquino to carry on the torch of his parents.

“Ito ba ‘yung mga taong kasama nila kumain?” he said, adding that the LP's claim can only be proven on May 10, 2010.

Noynoy-Mar tandem

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said in a statement on Wednesday that the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party is confident it can overwhelm the supposed Noynoy-Mar tandem in 2010 with its strong coalition.

Ermita was certain the coalition can field a standard-bearer that can match the so-called “dream” partnership of Aquino and Senator Mar Roxas.

In an interview over radio dzMM, Roxas said he had refused to talk about his possible vice-presidential candidacy with Aquino during their meetings over the weekend.

He said Aquino had asked him if there’s a possibility they could run in 2010 in tandem.

Roxas said he told Aquino to decide first if he would accept the challenge to run for president before they go into that matter.

Supported by quitters

In an interview with reporters, Golez took a swipe at Senator Panfilo Lacson’s announcement that he is supporting Aquino’s presidential bid.

“Good for him… Quitters never win. Winners never quit. If they say they would trust Noynoy, that’s good,” the presidential spokesman said.

In throwing his support for Aquino, Lacson urged former President Joseph Estrada to give up his plan to run again for president.

Golez said Estrada’s instant reaction, not to follow Roxas’s withdrawal, is one indication that the opposition will remain splintered.