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Manzano is Lakas bet for VP
« on: November 14, 2009, 01:12:20 AM »
MANILA (Updated) -- An actor and game show host has formally agreed Friday to be the running mate of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, the administration bet in 2010’s presidential election.

Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno announced that Lakas-Kampi-CMD has picked actor Edu Manzano to be Teodoro’s vice presidential candidate.

"The person who has accepted the challenge of standing beside Secretary Teodoro in the quest to become the next president of the Republic of the Philippines and the next vice-president of the Republic of the Philippines, no other than former OMB chairman Edu Manzano," Puno announced.

Puno, who took the credit of persuading the actor-politician to accept the offer, made the surprise announcement at a press conference in Shangri-La Makati Friday.

Manzano admitted that he had been discussing with Puno on his possible tandem with Teodoro over two months ago.

Manzano is the former chairman of the Optical Media Board (OMB), the anti-piracy arm of the Arroyo administration.

Teodoro said he is happy with Manzano's decision, acknowledging Puno's efforts and getting them together.

He said aside from him and Manzano's being products of the De La Salle University (DLSU) school system, they also do not carry any "excess baggage".

Teodoro, prior to his appointment as defense chief, was a former congressman of Tarlac. Manzano, on the other hand was a former vice mayor of Makati City.

The 54-year-old Manzano resigned from the OMB in August to focus in his advocacy against child pornography and prepare for his 2010 plans. He is one the founders of the non-profit organization Ako Mismo.

Manzano, Eduardo Lorenzo Barrios Manzano in real life, was born in San Francisco, California but took his elementary education at DLSU where he graduated in 1969 before returning to the United States where he joined the US Air Force at age 17 and served for four years.

In his return to the country, he joined the local entertainment industry in 1979 and later married actress and now Batangas Governor Vilma Santos but were divorced years later.

Santos was among those initially considered to be Teodoro's runningmate but she declined to run for reelection as Batangas governor.

Apart from movies and television sitcoms, he likewise hosted late night talk shows and game shows. He also previously served as president of the Kapisanan ng mga Artista sa Pelikulang Pilipino.

Meanwhile, Lakas-Kampi secretary general Gabriel Claudio said party officials are happy with the Teodoro-Manzano tandem believing that they have a good geographical match up with their standard bearer representing Luzon particularly Tarlac and his runningmate representing Visayas particularly Iloilo.
Claudio, who admitted that Manzano's popularity, being from the entertainment industry, will be an asset, was an original Lakas member.

He said Manzano ran and won the vice mayoralty race in Makati under Lakas, and later ran for mayor- also under Lakas- but lost to Jejomar Binay who continues to serve as Mayor.

In 2004, he was named chairman of the Videogram Regulatory Board which later became the OMB.

He was supposed to run for senator in 2007 under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats but backed out because he was financially unprepared to mount a nationwide campaign.

Claudio said there are now concerns about his loyalty to the party citing that reports of his supposed plans to join the Liberal Party and the Partido ng Masang Pilipino are just rumors.

The nominations of Teodoro and Manzano as the party's presidential and vice presidential bets are expected to be ratified and formalized during the general assembly and national convention of the Lakas-Kampi at the Philippine International Convention Center on November 19.

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