Upclose: Chairman Bayani Fernando

I have decided to run, declared Chairman Bayani Fernando when asked if he consider to run as president in 2010. Fernando recently visited Cebu and spent a fraction of his time meeting some Cebu bloggers, and student writers and leaders. I got the opportunity to see him upclose.

If his party, Lakas-Kampi CMD will endorse an outsider (Noli de Castro) or a newcomer (Sec. Gilbert Teodoro), will he still pursue his plan? Bayani expressed with confidence his faith that he will get his party’s support. His answer was straightforward. There was no implication that he will leave Lakas-Kampi CMD and form another party like what former President Ramos did.

Ironically, on the same day he shared to us his faith on his party’s support, Malacanang announced that the President expressed her confidence that Noli de Castro would become a good president. President Arroyo is the chairperson of Lakas-Kampi CMD. Her statement was taken as strong sign that Lakas Kampi will soon adopt and endorse Noli de Castro.

Bayani Fernando is serious on his plan to become the next president. His close supporters are now working hard to prepare for that. In fact, he was introduced to us as the next president of the Republic of the Philippines. And why not? Bayani Fernando has proven track record as former mayor of Marikina and as MMDA Chairman. To sum it all, Bayani has proven track record, credentials, competence and integrity – the traits we need for a president.

However, Bayani performs poorly in surveys – too far from Noli de Castro and a little better than Sec. Gilbert Teodoro.

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Gilbert Teodoro Jr. as next Philippine President?

Defense Secretary Gilbert C. Teodoro Jr. continues to gain strength and getting political momentum needed for 2010 Philippine Presidential election.

Political observers predicted earlier that the 2010 Philippine Presidential election will be tough, and unpredictable. In 2007, I started to look around for potential successor of President Gloria Arroyo. In the last two quarters of 2008, presidential bets are floating their name.

Sen. Manual Roxas had the most obvious plan to be the next man in Malacanang. Sen. Manny Villar had not been vocal but his actions already confirm intention. Then the name of Sen. Richard Gordon, Mayor Jejomar Binay, MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando, Panfilo Lacson, then the self-proclaimed threat – former President Joseph Estrada. In December 2008, the names of  Sen. Chiz Escudero and Sen. Loren Legarda temporarily became a force.

When Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro announced his interest to run as president in 2010, I have no doubts that he indeed is a strong contender for the position.

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