Lakas-Kampi head in Or. Mindoro junks own man, support LP bet
By JUANCHO R. MAHUSAY
CALAPAN CITY – The regional chairman of the administration party Lakas-Kampi, who is also its key leader in Oriental Mindoro has decided to junk its gubernatorial bet here and instead, threw its support to the candidate of the Liberal Party.
In a press conference last Monday (April 26), 1st District Congressman Rodolfo G. Valencia, who is the Lakas chairman for Southern Tagalog, announced publicly that he is withdrawing support from his partymate, incumbent Oriental Mindoro Governor Arnan C. Panaligan, and is now pushing for the candidacy of outgoing 2nd District Congressman Alfonso V. Umali, Jr. to be the said province’s chief executive.
Congressman Valencia, who is also the district chairman of the administration party and is seeking his third and last term as Oriental Mindoro’s representative to the Congress, told media he is crossing party line this time to support Umali, his protégé and who the former described as “a long time political ally and a trusted partner in pushing development for the province ever since.”
Valencia and Umali are former LP partymates. When the former was the province governor from 1992 to 2001, the latter was its provincial administrator. The duo also both joined serving Oriental Mindoro as congressmen from 2004 until now.
Valencia and Umali however, parted ways as partymates when the LP cracked into two factions. Valencia decided to stick it out with the LP faction of former Environment Secretary Lito Atienza, while Umali joined former Senator Franklin Drilon’s LP wing. The latter LP faction was eventually affirmed by the Supreme Court as the “only” LP group.
In choosing LP’s Umali over Lakas-Kampi’s Panaligan, Valencia stated he decided to choose friendship over being a party man. Nevertheless, the reelectionist Congressman Valencia said he is not resigning from the ruling party and is still supporting the presidential candidacy of Lakas-Kampi’s Gilbert Teodoro.
Getting his comments, Panaligan, who is the incumbent Oriental Mindoro governor, told some newsmen here that he is respecting Valencia’s decision. The second-term seeking governor also said being a “partidista” or a true party man, he will still campaign for all candidates of Lakas-Kampi, which include Valencia.
Tags: liberal party