Press Release
March 21, 2010

Snub of town mayor may cost Aquino-Roxas votes in Tarlac - Legarda

Snubbing a Tarlac mayor may yet prove costly for Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas in their bid to get the presidency and vice presidency, respectively, according to NP-NPC-LDP vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda.

On Saturday, the snubbed mayor, Noel Villanueva of Concepcion, hometown of Ninoy Aquino, announced his endorsement of the Villar-Legarda tandem, after which Tarlac Ciy mayoralty candidate Sherwin Rigor announced his own endorsement for the NP team.

The Villanueva and Rigor endorsements, along with those of 200 NP bets in the province are to be expected because they are both running under the NP banner.

But Rigor thinks the voters are fed up supporting candidates from the landed gentry. This, he said, is evident in the crowds that showed up to welcome the Villar-Legarda team.

"Ngayon lang nila ipinaparamdam ang suporta," Rigor said. "Sawang-sawa na sila sa pulitiko na galing sa angkan ng mga mayayaman at hacendero. Walang nanyayaring pagbabago sa ating bansa. Mananalo dito sina Senador Villar at Loren."

For Legarda, this the elitist attitude the Aquino-Roxas tandem was apparent in the way they treated Villanueva.

"Not paying due courtesy to a local chief executive shows a lack of manners, not to mention statesmanship," Legarda said during a break in the her campaigning in Tarlac, supposed bailiwick of Noynoy Aquino and administration bet Gibo Teodoro.

Legarda was referring to a reported snub of Villanueva when the LP team started their campaign in Concepcion last February.

Legarda said the political motivation behind the snub was understandable.

"Still, Aquino and Roxas are senators and should have paid the town's chief executive the courtesy of a visit," Legarda said.

According to a report by Ces Drilon of ABS-CBN, Aquino and Roxas avoided visiting the Concepcion Town Hall, where Concepcion and other local officials were waiting for him.

In a Feb. 11 post at the ABS-CBN News website, Drilon describes the incident in the first person:

"Mayor Villanueva brought me to the conference room and showed me the merienda he prepared: pancit and tamales, a delicacy Tarlac takes pride in.

"Villanueva made me taste some. The tamales were delicious.

"Too bad for Noynoy and his party.

"Villanueva says the food was prepared as a matter of protocol. When visiting, it is customary for government officials to pay a courtesy call to the town's chief executive."

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