Sep 222014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/04/09ECTION03OF05MANILA924.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ECTION03OF05MANILA924
2009-04-29 08:59
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO1752
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0924/03 1190859
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 290859Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3975
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L ECTION 03 OF 05 MANILA 000924

SIPDIS

STATE FR EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/30/2019
TAGS: GOV PREL PINR RP
SUBJECT: CANDIDATES BEGIN JOKEYING FOR 2010 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

not-so-sbtle vote-buying mechanisms.

TOP CANDIDATES FORTHE PRESIDENCY
———————————

¶9. (C) The top nine contenders for the Presideny include
Vice President De Castro, Defense Secrtary Gilbert Teodoro,
Supreme Court Chief JusticeReynato Puno, former President
Joseph Estrada, ad Senators Manuel Villar, Loren Legarda,
Manuel oxas II, Francis Escudero, and Panfilo Lacson. A
second tier of contenders, including Senator Richrd Gordon,
Metro Manila Development Authority Charman Bayani Fernando,
Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay the El Shaddai charismatic
Catholic leader Broter Mike Velarde, and Pampanga
Governor-priest Edardo Panlilio will be covered in septel.

VICE PESIDENT DE CASTRO
————————

10.(C) Concurrently the government’s housing czar, Vie
President De Castro, 59, has consistently toppd presidential
poll surveys. Elected in 2001 toa six-year term in the
Senate, De Castro gave uphis seat to become President
Arroyo’s successful unning mate in the 2004 presidential
elections. He is backed by the media giant ABS-CBN where heworked as a radio announcer and television news anhor,
making him a household name. De Castro hoss a popular radio
show on Saturdays that targets ower income families.
However, as a diffident pulic official with unimpressive
leadership skillsand credentials, his performance has been
lackluter. His reliance on campaign donors could renderhim
highly prone to the dictates of vested interets. Still, as
a well-liked, personable incumben, he could successfully
seek reelection under th administration banner or as running
mate of Sentor Manuel Villar. (The two are close friends.)
e Castro is married to ABS-CBN executive Arlene Sinuat (of
a prominent Muslim clan in Mindanao)who reportedly wields
strong influence over him.

DEFENSE SECRETARY GILBERT TEODORO
———————————

¶11. (C) Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, 44, announced his
candidacy only recently, more than a year after his
competitors, yet he still generated a favorable response.
His peers in the Cabinet acknowledged he is presidential
material, noting his youthful idealism, intellectual
capability, leadership, sense of national pride, and firm
understanding of challenges facing the country. Teodoro is
one of the best educated presidential aspirants, holding a
Master’s Degree in law from Harvard and placing first in the
1989 Philippine Bar exam. Teodoro is politically acceptable
to the ruling Lakas/KAMPI Party and has the support of the
20,000-strong Philippine Councilors League, but lacks the
popularity of De Castro, a handicap he can overcome if he can
get the support of other parties, including the Nationalist
People’s Coalition (NPC) Party chaired by his uncle, business
magnate Eduardo Cojuangco. A three-term Tarlac
Representative before his appointment to the Arroyo Cabinet,
Teodoro once headed the NPC bloc in Congress but became
independent after he joined the Arroyo Cabinet. Teodoro’s
wife “Nikki” occupies the seat he vacated in Congress. Some
political insiders speculate that Teodoro comes across as too
elite to get the necessary lower-class votes to win.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE: A MORAL FORCE
——————————–

¶12. (C) Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno has not yet
openly declared an intention to run for the presidency, but
the anti-corruption “Moral Force Movement” initiative he
started April 2009 aims to identify the leadership qualities
that he feels will benefit the country — not surprisingly,
qualities he believes he embodies — without endorsing
specific candidates. COMELEC Chairman Jose Melo and other
influential figures have nonetheless said they would vote for
Puno if he decides to run. Chief Justice Puno’s potential
influence does not end there. He opposes the
U.S.-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and recently
voted with a minority of Justices who consider the agreement
unconstitutional.

FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH ESTRADA
——————————-

¶13. (C) Mindful of the opposition defeat in the last
presidential elections, ousted former President and pardoned
felon Joseph Estrada, 72, has threatened to run if the
opposition once again fails to unite and field a common

   

 

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