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Arroyo coalition says Batangas is ‘free zone’

March 13, 2007 11:30pm

The administration coalition declared Batangas province a proclamation “free zone" after Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos decided to run against reelectionist Gov. Armand Sanchez.

Santos is a member of the administration coalition’s Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.

On the other hand, Sanchez, formerly of Lakas, recently joined the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino, also a part of the coalition and the party of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Since forming a unity ticket in Batangas was no longer possible, the coalition decided not to proclaim any official candidate in the gubernatorial race.

Speaker Jose de Venecia, Lakas president, said Sanchez was correct in saying that the coalition should endorse him in accordance with the equity of the incumbent rule.

However, de Venecia said this could not happen because of the overwhelming support for Santos.

"Technically he (Sanchez) is correct but we were swamped by resolutions from Lakas-CMD in Batangas, you can see the overwhelming surge, the will of the people and also the leaders of the church have been pushing for Vilma Santos," he said.

De Venecia earlier said Lakas-CMD would endorse Santos’ candidacy and that he had already signed her certificate of endorsement.

The son of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on Tuesday said the Lipa mayor already chose him as her running mate in the gubernatorial race in Batangas province.

Interviewed over QTV's Balitanghali, banker Edwin Ermita said he learned of the development from Santos herself.

"Nakapag-usap na kami kahapon ni Mayor Vi at sinabi niya sa akin na ako ang kanyang magiging vice governor (Mayor Vilma and I already talked last Monday. She told me that I will be her vice governor)," he said.

On the other hand, Santos' brother in law, Batangas vice-governor Richard Recto, is now entertaining thoughts of running as a congressman following brother Ralph’s advice.

Richard sounded more amiable now and even thanked Vilma and Ralph.

"In the case of Vilma, I'd like to thank her for the message she sent me...I'd like to thank Ralph for more conciliatory messages," he said.

The Rectos also defended Santos from Sanchez’s tirades.

The governor issued on Tuesday statements that were apparently addressed to Santos. He said somebody cannot face the public unless that person puts make-up for three hours.

" You don't make bastos Vilma like that…she's still my sister…Sanchez is a fool," Richard said.

Ralph said: "Eh mabuti nga si Vi pwede pang mag-make up…gumaganda pa with or without makeup eh si Sanchez kahit 12 oras mag-make up hindi magbabago ang itsura niya." -AMITA LEGASPI, GMANews.TV
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