Bello on why people want to challenge PGMA politically

June 26, 2009 8:05 am 

MANILA, June 26 — Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III today said there is nothing unusual about people wanting to challenge President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“It’s plain human nature. People would want to challenge the heavyweight, not the lightweight, because if you win over the lightweight, your victory is meaningless,” Bello explained.

The explanation was in response to questions raised by reporters in a press briefing this morning on why newspaper columnist Prof. Randy David and, of late, Senator Manuel Villar said they would run for Congress if Charter change would be pursued and President Arroyo runs for Congress in 2010.

“It is just a normal human craving to challenge the heavyweight so that is why everybody wants to challenge the President,” he said, adding, however, that he is not in any way commenting on the political plans of President Arroyo.

On whether the President will still have a political life after 2010, if she decides to get into politics, Bello retorted: “Good. Your premise is ‘if she plans to get into politics.’ Definitely she will have a political life and it will still be a heavy political life. But that is not to say na meron siyang (she already has) plans for 2010. Let’s be clear about that because we really do not know,” he stressed.

Asked if the planned battle in the second district of Pampanga between Prof. David and the President could be aptly described as “David versus Goliath,” Bello said “medyo ganun nga (it seems so) but that does not mean we are confirming David’s winning over Goliath this time. In terms of strength ‘siguro pwede yon’ (the comparison may hold,” Bello said.

Pursuing Prof. David’s reported plan to oppose the President in Pampanga, Bello said “we are in a very free and democratic country and anybody who thinks he is qualified to run can run. Again I am saying that he is always welcome to join the political fray.”

Bello said he personally considers David “a worthy opponent of the President. But then I am not saying that the President is contemplating on pursuing such political activity. None of us know what her political plans are. She has not told anyone and all she says is economy, education and stimulus fund.”

He said Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan, who was at the briefing with Bello, is always nagged about the economy of the country, what projects to enhance the economy. “In my one-year term as Cabinet Secretary, not once did she tell me of her political plans,” Bello noted

On whether the President will be unbeatable in her home province, Bello patiently said: “She is from Pampanga. Her performance in her district (and her province) is very good. She brought them a lot of benefits. She gave them projects that benefited them. It is very safe to say, and I am very confident about it, that she is extremely popular in her place.” (PNA)

scs/OPS/ssc

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