Press Release
March 3, 2010

LP loses members to NP in Mindanao

TANDAG CITY (March 3) - Close to 300 Liberal Party members in three key provinces in Caraga Region joined the Nacionalista Party in a show of support for the candidacy of NP standard-bearer Manny Villar.

Villar made this announcement soon after he and the NP presidential ticket arrived at the Surigao del Sur Polytechnic State College before noon Wednesday.

In Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte alone, 171 local LP candidates took their oath before Villar Monday night in Butuan City. The following day, 123 LP officials and members from 11 towns in Surigao del Norte defected to NP.

Buoyed by the prospects of a landslide victory in the region (Region 13), Villar said: "Our doors are always open to those who want to help us end poverty in the country. We appreciate the show of support and we vow to make good our promise to uplift the living conditions of the poor, especially in Mindanao."

Villar and his party were warmly welcomed by a mammoth crowd that mobbed him as soon as he stepped out of the helicopter that landed on the parade grounds of the state university.

Villar said he expects more defections not only from LP but also from other parties as the May presidential election nears.

The defections of the Liberals to the NP were expected, Villar said, because they believe that NP is capable of addressing the country's myriad problems, he said.

On Tuesday, Surigao del Norte Gov. Robert Ace Barbers assured a "more than overwhelming" victory for Villar in the province, stressing that majority of its incumbent local officials are members of the NP.

"If elections were held here tomorrow, I believe it would be a victory for Sen. Villar, a landslide victory at that," Barbers said.

Barbers, who is seeking reelection this coming May, said that over 70 percent of incumbent local officials in Surigao's 20 municipalities are Nacionalistas.

Earlier in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, Villar presided over the oath-taking of 146 candidates for local government posts in the province, a known NP bailiwick.

Among those who took oath is incumbent Bislig City Mayor Alberto Tan, who is seeking reelection.

In Agusan del Sur Monday night, the NP presidential bet also presided over the oath-taking of Mayor Bebe Hitgano of Trento town, Mayor Nilo Soliva of Remedios Trinidad Romualdez, Vice Mayor Martin Heje of Bunawan, Vice Mayor Antonio Petalcorin of Rosario and Vice Mayor Jess Morales of Kitcharao town.

In Tandag City, Villar was elated by the continuous cheers of the crowd, estimated by local officials at 3,000, composed mostly of students, faculty, school officials and city residents and nearby towns.

He was accompanied by members of the NP senatorial slate Susan Ople, Bongbong Marcos, Adel Tamano, Gilbert Remulla, Satur Ocampo, and Liza Maza.

Hundreds of residents dotted the streets to watch Villar's motorcade leading to the residence of Gov. Vicente Pimentel.

Leading the welcomers were Pimentel, Tandag City Mayor Alexander Pimentel, and their brother Johnny who is running for governor in the elections.

They are members of Lakas-CMD-Kampi but are family friends of the Villar couple.

News Latest News Feed