DILG chief announces intention to run as VP in 2010 elections

May 26, 2009 2:09 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, May 26 — Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno on Tuesday formally announced his intention to run for vice president in the 2010 elections under the unified Lakas-Kampi-CMD (Christians-Muslims-Democrat) party.

Puno, during the national council meeting of the Kabalikat ng Mamamayang Pilipino (Kampi) held at Annabel's Restaurant in Quezon City, said he would seek the Lakas-Kampi-CMD nomination for vice president when it holds its convention.

"I will be seeking approval of the joint party as vice president… I would like to participate in the nomination proceedings," said Puno in a press conference after the closed-door meeting of the 63 Kampi members.

"I believe that with the experience (being the campaign manager of then Presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada, and incumbent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), I maybe able to help the President in running the country. I will serve the President loyally and to the best of my ability," he said.

Puno, as chairman of Kampi, also said that the party unanimously adopted five joint resolutions for the merging of the Lakas-CMD and Kampi into one political party, which will be formalized and discussed on Thursday with no less than President Arroyo to preside over the merger to be held at the Manila Hotel.

Joint Resolution No. 1 declares the merger of Lakas-CMD and Kampi to give rise to a merged unified political party called the "Lakas-Kampi-CMD."

Joint Resolution No. 2 approved and ratified the Constitution and by-laws of Lakas-Kampi-CMD and declaring its immediate effectivity.

On the other hand, Joint Resolution No. 3 affirms the authority of party chairman President Arroyo, to appoint the interim members of the national executive committee.

Joint Resolution No. 4 commits to abide by and support the party's choice and selection of national candidates who shall banner the party and lead it to victory in the 2010 synchronized national and local elections.

Under the JR 4, Puno stressed that the national directorate of Lakas-CMD and the national council of Kampi resolved "to fully and firmly commit to abide by and support the party's choice and selection of national candidates in the 2010 synchronized national and local elections."

It further resolved their loyalty and fealty to the party "by fulfilling our obligations as members to abide by the final decisions of the party and to actively and exclusively support and campaign for its official candidates, as expressly mandated by the provisions of our Constitution and by-laws."

Joint Resolution No. 5, meanwhile, commends President Arroyo "for successfully steering the country towards economic recovery and resiliency amid the global economic crisis and expressing strong support for her continuing efforts to achieve sustained economic improvement and national development."

Puno also acknowledged that not all members would be agreeable to the concept of the merger, but stressed that it was the "right thing to do."

"Today, we are going to undertake discussions of some resolutions which I know will be painful to some of us. It is not easy to bring into being a united party composed of sometimes disparate interests and sometimes separate and different political factions," he said in his opening statement.

"But we are going to attempt to do this because we know it is right, we are going to do this because we want to be at the forefront of a 'transformational politics' that will engulf this country in the next election," he added.

Puno said that "many things will change in our country and in our process of selecting our leaders and we want to be in step with this process of transformation that our country needs to undertake in order to achieve the political maturity that we all have been looking for so long."

Despite the absence of the party president — Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte who had informed some Kampi members on Monday that he could not attend today's national council meeting for unknown reason — the DILG chief said that Kampi remained the "most united, most together party in the entire country."

He reiterated that Villafuerte is still a member of Kampi desite his absence in today's meeting.

Puno also said that the new party (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) would continue to pursue the programs of the government and would continue to display unity "in all aspects of its existence." (PNA) scs/LGI

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