MANILA - Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno's announcement that actor and TV host Edu Manzano will be the running mate of Lakas-Kampi standard bearer Gilbert 'Gibo" Teodoro caught many by surprise--including his girlfriend.
During a one-on-one interview on ANC's Talkback with Tina Monzon-Palma on Monday, Manzano was asked how his girlfriend, news anchor Pinky Webb reacted to his candidacy.
"I think it came as a shock to her, too," Manzano said.
But he says she supports his decision.
Before Manzano teamed up with Teodoro, several names had been floated as Teodoro's running mate, including Batangas Governor Vilma Santos and Senator Loren Legarda.
But Manzano clarified he was not the last choice of Teodoro and the administration party.
He added that Teodoro only offered the vice presidency to him and Vice-President Noli de Castro.
The former chairman of the Optical Media Board said he had been meeting with various political parties and personalities before he accepted Teodoro's offer.
These include the Liberal Party, the Nacionalista Party, former President Joseph Estrada, and representatives of Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero.
Manzano believes his stints as vice-mayor of Makati City and OMB chairman have given him experience in politics and law enforcement.
He concedes though that he and Teodoro have a lot of work to do to reach more people and catch up with their rivals who are leading in recent surveys.
He also believes Teodoro is on the right path in making reforms inside the Lakas-Kampi-CMD since people have grown tired of traditional politics.
The actor added that he and Teodoro see eye-to-eye when it comes to addressing the problem of child pornography in the country as well as raising the global competitiveness of Filipinos.
Manzano also recalled his bitter experience in 2001 when he ran for mayor of Makati but lost to Mayor Jejomar Binay.
The actor said those who promised to provide him campaign funds suddenly disappeared, and he ended up pawning his house to raise funds.
This time though, Manzano said Puno gave him assurances that the ruling coalition will provide him with funds and training for his people in launching an effective campaign.