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No withdrawal – Lerias claims report LPs will withdraw is false

MAASIN, SOUTHERN LEYTE –Reacting to reports that the Liberal Party candidates here were demoralized because they were getting no financial support from LP headquarters in Manila; Engineer Victor Lerias told SLT, that a representative of President Aquino would be coming here soon to assure their candidates they would be provided with ample assistance from Malacanang. He did not say however whether this aid would include adequate funding for their campaign.

In a phone interview with this writer, he said that “A top ranking Noynoy official would be attending their kick-off rally later this month to relay this message. ”The NUPcandidates will be in for a good fight” he concluded.

Engineer Robert Castanares, the LP candidate for governor, was even more emphatic and told SLT that the Mercados had been declared “Persona Non grata” by the LP and were now considered members of the opposition.”

He said we should verify the reports they were withdrawing from the political campaign since it was just a desperate ploy by Mercado strategists to demoralize their supporters.

He also cautioned SLT to report political events “fairly.” Meaning (we assume) that it should be favorable to the Liberal Party candidates of the Aquino Administration. His claim that the NUP candidates here were consider political enemies was refuted by Congressman Roger Mercado who told SLT that Speaker Sonny Belmonte who was the Honorary Chairman of the NUP was a very close friend of President Aquino.

“If the NUP members here had lost the confidence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives why did he appoint me as the NUP Secretary General?” He added that the “Johnny Come Lately” members of the Liberal Party in the province are obviously trying to alienate them from the LP leadership in Manila. “They think the voters here were naïve enough to believe their claim that they (and they alone) can convince the president to release funds for
basic service projects in Southern Leyte.

“We are the duly elected representatives of the people of Southern Leyte. And if they want to assume this role, they should present their plans for the province, and let the people decide if they want their leadership - instead of campaigning on the coat-tails of the president’s popularity.”

He said “The president had more important things to attend to than the problems of political wannabes here who claim they want to serve the people; when what they really want, is to obtain political power for themselves.” (By ANTHONY KINGS)










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