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Tingting Cojuangco clarifies statement vs. niece Kris

Former Tarlac Governor Margarita "Tingting" Cojuangco has clarified her statement that she will "leave the country" if ever her niece, actress Kris Aquino, runs for public office in the province, a report on "24 Oras" said.

"It was a figure of expression," she said. "But I'm not going to deny what I'm saying. But what I'm trying to say is that each person belongs to a certain niche."

Cojuangco reportedly gave the statement during a forum in Subic last week when the subject of Kris running for public office was broached.

She, however, insisted that there are certain qualifications that someone seeking public office must have.

"I mean, I want somebody who's competent and knowledgeable about the complete issues of the country and may help the solutions and the good management skills," she said.

Cojuangco and her husband, Peping, have been outspoken critics of President Benigno Aquino III, Kris' brother.

Cojuangco said she would rather avoid a family feud in Tarlac, the political bailiwick of the Cojuangco clan.

"If she (Kris) wants to go to politics in the province of Tarlac, that's where her parents come from, by all means it's a free choice that she makes... Pero ngayon, 'pag lumaban yung ibang Cojuangco ay mahirap na ho yan, ayaw na naming sumali sa Cojuangco vs. Cojuangco," she said.

In a blog post titled "Dedmabels," Kris said she had no plans on ever running for office in Tarlac and thought of the whole affair as a "super LAUGH TRIP".

The celebrity mom said she had no time to think about politics due to work commitments and raising her two sons, Josh and Bimby.

"Seriously though, and this isn’t meant to brag but simply to state facts, I just renewed 4 major endorsement contracts... I already said that my priority is to not only financially secure the future of my 2 sons, but to really be physically present in their lives," she wrote. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News