What now Gibo?

Posted: April 4, 2010 in 2010 elections, Erap, Gibo Teodoro, GMA, Manny Villar, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics

Gilbert 'Gibo' Teodoro

We were unconscionably titillated over the Holy Week by news that the First Gentleman, Mike Arroyo, instructed a number of trusted allies (particularly the powerful Garcia clan of Cebu)  to abandon support fort Gibo Teodoro and help Manny Villar instead.  This bit gave credence to loose talk about Villaroyo being the Palace’s true candidate.

Notwithstanding denials from concerned quarters published in today’s newspapers, sufficient doubt has been cast about the Palace true intentions if the Villaroyo news is considered with many complaints from Lakas hopefuls regarding campaign funds.  Mayor Ramon Guico of Binalonan, Pangasinan and president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), who is himself running as senator, quipped that “if the party fails to give support, it’s finished.  That’s the reason for the exodus of governors.”

Earlier, Lakas stalwarts Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri of Bukidnon and Deputy National Security Adviser Chavit Singson endorsed Villar.

While Gibo himself belied reports that Mike Arroyo had pressured the Garcia clan to switch support to Villar, he has to ask himself if indeed he still has a party machinery to support his candidacy.

The Gibo candidacy looks a lot like that of Jose de Venecia’s bid for the presidency in 1998.  Both campaigns were overshadowed by opposition bets–JDV by Erap Estrada and Gibo by three front-runners (Noynoy, Villar and Erap).

What is quite ironic is Gibo has so far faithfully stood by GMA, leader of his party, while the latter apparently doesn’t believe in keeping the faith.

While a pragmatic adviser would counsel Gibo to fight fire with fire and support Noynoy to ensure Villaroyo’s defeat, I believe he will do better by staying the course.  And show how a man of principle behaves in the apparently hopelessly-dirty world of Philippine politics.

The choice is his to make.  This will be Gibo’s defining moment.

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