By Joey A. Gabieta
First Posted 15:34:00 11/01/2009
TACLOBAN CITY- Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone, a key leader in the ruling political party, raised the possibility of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD disintegrating in the coming 2010 elections because of in-fighting and defections of its members to other parties.
Evardone said on Saturday this scenario might doom the chances of the administration’s presidential bet, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, who had yet to outpace other presidential aspirants in popularity surveys.
The ruling party had already lost a key ally in Eastern Visayas when Biliran Governor Rogelio Espina bolted from the Lakas-Kampi-CMD on October 21 and joined the Nacionalista Party of Senator Manny Villar.
Espina had urged other governors and local officials of the region to join him in the Nacionalista Party.
The Espinas are considered to be among President Macapagal-Arroyo’s key allies in the region.
Espina has announced his intention to seek the lone congressional district of Biliran against
neophyte solon Glenn Chong, a member of the Liberal Party who will be seeking his second term in 2010.
Evardone said party mates gunning for the same position in the 2010 local elections could precipitate the collapse of the ruling party once touted by President Macapagal-Arroyo as a “collosus” in the coming elections.
“If, for example, I will not get the official nomination from our party, what could be my recourse but to leave the party and join other political party?” the Eastern Samar governor said.
Evardone said he has been seeing this problem not only in his province but in other Lakas-Kampi bailiwicks as well.
Evardone, on his second term as governor of Eastern Samar, has declared his intention to run for Congress representing the province’s lone congressional district.
The incumbent congressman, Teodulo Coquilla, on his first term, is also from Lakas-Kampi-CMD and will likely run for reelection.
But the regional president of the ruling party, Marcelino Libanan, is rumored to be also interested in gaining back the Eastern Samar congressional post he held for nine years, which ended on 2004.
Libanan is now the commissioner of the Bureau of Immigratiom.
Evardone admitted receiving offers from other political parties, particularly NP but he said that he had not lost his loyalty to the administration party.
The governor counts on at least 16 of the 23 mayors of the province as his allies.