MANILA - Public Works and Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. said Friday that he may run for president in 2010 under the administration party.
"Kung may suporta ... (If there is support...)," Ebdane said before the start of the Senate inquiry into the proceeds of the Road Users' Tax and Motor Vehicle User's Charge.
Ebdane, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, said he may seek the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party's endorsement despite the ruling party's national executive committee's choice of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro as its standard-bearer.
"We are a democratic country. We go through a process," he said, adding that the ruling party's endorsement is not yet final.
The recommendation of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD national executive committee still has to be ratified by the party's national council in a convention.
Ebdane's possible presidential run came after manifesto by 15 governors identified with the administration endorsing him was published in several newspapers.
The manifesto, published in major dailies on Thursday, asked: "'Di kaya si Jun Ebdane ang daan para sa 2010?"
Miriam Defensor-Santiago, chair of the Senate economic affairs committee, warned Ebdane that his involvement in the 2004 election controversy, dubbed "Hello, Garci," will affect his possible presidential campaign.
"If Secretary Ebdane is serious in his presidential bid, the issue of 'Hello, Garci' will haunt him," Santiago, who jointly headed the road users' tax inquiry with Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., public works committee chairman, said.
The senator added that Ebdane has already been found "guilty" by the public for his supposed involvement in the election scam, which has been used several times as a basis for impeachment complaints filed against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. -- report from Maricar Bautista, ABS-CBN News