MANILA - A son of Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) chair emeritus Eduardo 'Danding' Cojuangco Jr. has confirmed that the party will field Senators Francis 'Chiz' Escudero for president and Loren Legarda for vice-president in the May 2010 elections.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco said his father is expected to attend Legarda's declaration on Friday in Luneta.
He belied reports that his father may also back his nephew, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party.
Rep. Cojuangco said his father, chair of San Miguel Corp. (SMC), is committed to supporting the Chiz-Loren tandem and the rest of the NPC candidates in next year's natiional and local elections.
On reports of conflict between Teodoro and his father, Rep. Cojuangco said the party felt it was not yet time for Teodoro to be seeking the country's top post, which is why they chose another presidential candidate.
He added that the NPC did not kick out Teodoro from the party, but that he left to pursue his ambition with the Lakas-Kampi-CMD.
He also shot down reports that his father is seriously ill and dying, adding that the 74-year-old former ambassador even goes on fun rides. However, he said his father has to undergo regular check-ups due to his age.
Danding joined the presidential race in 1992 and came third after the eventual winner, Fidel Ramos, and Miriam Defensor Santiago. -- report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News