Wednesday Club mulls De Castro-Villar tandem in 2010
- Christina Mendez () - January 21, 2008 - 12:00am

The so-called Wednesday Club at the Senate is mulling the possibility of fielding in the 2010 elections the tandem of Vice President Noli de Castro and Senate President Manuel Villar Jr. as presidential and vice-presidential bets, respectively, or vice-versa, Sen. Joker Arroyo said yesterday.

Arroyo, at the same time, warned that the country will have a minority president if several contenders run in the 2010 presidential elections, a scenario welcomed by another hopeful, Sen. Loren Legarda.

“We will have a minority president and that’s not good for our country,” Arroyo said. He urged presidential hopefuls to dwell on clear-cut issues and not on personalities come the 2010 polls.

On the possibility of a De Castro-Villar tandem, Arroyo said he and his colleagues at the Wednesday Club have been talking about possibilities in their past meetings.

According to Arroyo, even Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan, who belongs to the Liberal Party, has suggested that a De Castro-Villar teamup would be “unbeatable.”

“Kiko nicely said that a De Castro-Villar tandem is unbeatable in 2010,” said Arroyo, who refused to say who among the two should run as president and vice-president.

While all possibilities are being considered, Arroyo recognized though that “anything can still happen” between now and 2010. 

Asked on who he will support if Villar and De Castro choose to slug it out against each other in 2010, Arroyo said in jest: “I just have one heart. I will divide it into two (when the time comes).”

The Wednesday Club is comprised of Arroyo, Villar, De Castro, Pangilinan and former senator Ralph Recto. 

During the last elections, Arroyo and Recto ran with the administration Team Unity while Pangilinan ran as independent and Villar coalesced with the Genuine Opposition.

Arroyo, an administration ally, said the administration camp would benefit if members of the political opposition continue to be divided over who they should support as presidential bet or if ex-President Joseph Estrada decides to run even if this is not legally plausible.

Legarda, meanwhile, believes that the 2010 presidential elections will not be a fight between the opposition and the administration because President Arroyo is no longer eligible to seek re-election.

Virtually junking Estrada’s theory that the political opposition should just have one presidential candidate, Legarda welcomed the possibility of multiple contenders for the presidency.

“It will be three or even seven, eight or nine candidates. What is important is the candidates’ platforms. If there are only two candidates, it’s easy to say administration or opposition but if there are five, what do you call the three others?” Legarda asked.

Early on, presidential aspirants Villar and Roxas agreed separately that the opposition will likely have many candidates in 2010.  Both are being groomed as standard-bearers of their respective parties. Villar is the president of the Nacionalista Party while Roxas is the head of the Liberal Party.

Although she considers 2010 a long way away, Legarda said she welcomes any suggestions or talks from any group but she would rather focus on her work as senator.

“(The 2010 presidential race) will be like a free-for-all fight. There will be a smorgasbord of candidates with different platforms and personalities. That will be good for our country because they can choose among many candidates,” Legarda said.

She added that she respects Estrada’s aim to unify the opposition but recognizes that fielding one presidential candidate is not an easy task.

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