MANILA, Philippines - Vice-President Noli de Castro has picked Liberal Party (LP) vice-presidential candidate Sen. Manuel 'Mar' Roxas II over administration candidate, actor-TV host Edu Manzano, for the May 10, 2010 elections.
In an interview with ABS-CBN's Karen Davila, the broadcaster-turned-politician said he wants the frontrunner Roxas to win in the vice-presidential race even if he has been supportive of the Arroyo administration.
De Castro, who said he is no longer running in the May 2010 elections, disclosed that the administration's standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro has sought his advice regarding running for a high public post.
However, de Castro said he has not decided who to support for president.
"Kung ako man ay mangangampanya siguro, talagang naniniwala ako doon sa kandidato [If I will campaign for anyone, it will be for a candidate I believe in]," he said.
Asked if his friend, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar, has sought his endorsement, de Castro said: "In fairness to Manny, hindi naman siya nakikiusap [he has not asked for any favor]."
Villar was said to be wooing de Castro as his running mate, but the latter expressed his desire to go back to the private sector.
The former TV Patrol anchor, who still hosts a weekly radio program on radio dzMM, said he plans to return to radio and television when his vice-presidential term ends in June 2010.
De Castro did not say which broadcasting firm he will join, adding he is willing to fill up any vacancy in the broadcasting industry. "Kung saan may bakante," he said.
Supports martial law in Maguindanao
De Castro also said he supports President Arroyo's decision to impose martial law in the troubled southern province of Maguindanao, where 57 innocent civilians were massacred in an election-related incident last November 23.
"I agree sa pag-dedeklara ng martial law sa Maguindanao, and nakita ko naman ang resulta. But, sabi ko sa kanila, hindi siguro dapat magtagal," he said.
He also backs Mrs. Arroyo's congressional bid in the second district of Pampanga in the May 2010 elections.
De Castro has been appointed to various posts by President Arroyo after he ran and won with her in the 2004 elections. He defeated opposition bet Loren Legarda in a close race.
De Castro is Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman. He is also presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers.
He was a frontrunner in the presidential surveys in early 209, but his ratings dropped after he hedged on whether to run in the May 2010 polls.
His close association with Mrs. Arroyo, the most unpopular president in Philippine history post-1986, may also have contributed to the decline in his popularity.
De Castro topped the senatorial race in 2001 as an independent candidate.