(UPDATE 2) Romulo backs Noynoy

By Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Sep 21 2009 10:21 AM | Updated as of Sep 22 2009 04:43 PM

LONDON  - Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo is supporting the presidential bid of Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, making him the first Arroyo Cabinet member to openly declare his support for the Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer.

In an interview with ABS-CBN's Europe News Bureau, Romulo cited his deep ties with the family of former President Corazon Aquino, saying the late Mrs. Aquino supported him since his early days as a congressman until he became a senator for 12 years.

The foreign affairs secretary said he sided with Mrs. Aquino during the first People Power revolt  in 1986, and he also backed Noynoy Aquino's senatorial bid in 2007.

"In 2007, I voted for Noynoy Aquino so my ties with the Aquino family have been deep and lasting. And so I've always voted...I've always been with Tita Cory and voted for the Aquinos," Romulo said.

Asked if he will again vote for Noynoy in 2010, Romulo said: "I have voted for the Aquinos all the time."

Romulo also served as Aquino's budget secretary.

Romulo refused to comment on the presidential bid of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, who is being touted as the administration Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) standard-bearer.

He said he has no plans of embarking again into politics after his term ends since he has spent a long time in government service. Aside from the DFA, Romulo also served as finance and executive secretary under President Arroyo.

His term as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs ends on June 30, 2010.

Daughter confirms dad will back Noynoy

Meantime, Agriculture Undersecretary for Special Concerns Bernadette Romulo-Puyat confirmed that her father will be supporting Aquino in the 2010 elections.

In an interview with radio dzMM on Monday afternoon, Romulo-Puyat said she got in touch with her dad after many people started calling her about the report that her father would be supporting Noynoy.

"I got to talk to him and he said, yes, I'm supporting Noynoy," she said.

Romulo-Puyat said Noynoy's sister, Pinky, sent her a text message on Monday thanking them for their support after she learned that Secretary Romulo will be supporting Noynoy.
Romulo-Puyat said her dad has had a long relationship with the Aquino family that dates back to his ties with Noynoy's father, "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. .

She said her father told her he will never forget the fact that he won as a senator due to the support of the Aquino family, and that he was appointed budget minister in 1986 by then President Aquino.

"And he voted for Noynoy in 2007 and he believes in Noynoy," she added.

Romulo-Puyat also said that the late President Aquino is a godmother of one of her siblings.

Asked if her father will be active in supporting Noynoy during the elections, Romulo-Puyat said she's not sure if the foreign affairs secretary can since he is still expected to be in the Arroyo Cabinet.