Ping: 2016 pres'l poll not in mind, too busy with 'Yolanda'
Ping: 2016 pres'l poll not in mind, too busy with 'Yolanda'
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 15, 2014 - 5:05pm

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City - Amid rumors that he is running for president in 2016, Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson said he is “color blind” to politics and would rather focus on rehabilitating typhoon-hit areas.

“I eat ‘Yolanda’ for breakfast, I eat ‘Yolanda’ for lunch, I eat ‘Yolanda’ for dinner, I eat ‘Yolanda’ for snacks, and I dream of Yolanda when I go to sleep at night so I have nothing more in my mind except Yolanda,” Lacson told reporters yesterday after the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni homecoming here.

“I don’t think of 2016. I’m color blind to politics. As I said, “Yolanda” is all what I have in mind,” he added.

Lacson was the guest of honor and speaker of the PMA alumni homecoming, which was attended by about 4,000 graduates and visitors. He is a member of the PMA “Matatag” (resilient) class of 1971.

Before his attendance to the event, there have been speculations that Lacson might run for president even if he is not aligned with any major political party.

The PMA Alumni Association Inc. (PMAAAI) clarified that there is nothing political with the decision to pick Lacson as speaker and guest of honor.

“Number one, he is a cavalier himself and can relate to the event and number two it’s because of his position as Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery,” said PMAAAI public affairs chief Col. Romeo Brawner Jr.

“Our country has gone through a lot of challenges like calamities. We see the role of the armed forces and the (PMA) cavaliers increasing with regard to helping our countrymen I in terms of rehabilitation,” he added.

Nevertheless, the highlights of Lacson’s career as a politician and law enforcer were cited by PMAAAI chairman Reynaldo Reyes, who was tasked to introduce him.

“Observers note that his rise to national prominence started when he catapulted the Philippine National Police to one of its highest public approval ratings in its history,” Reyes, a graduate of PMA class ’64, said.

“During his two terms as senator, he consistently did not avail of his priority development assistance fund entitlement which is commonly known as the pork barrel and is worth P200-million per year. He said this is part of his crusade against graft and corruption,” he added, drawing applause from the audience.

Lacson’s address during the alumni homecoming did not talk about partisan politics but focused on the need for cadets to maintain their integrity.

Roxas also present

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who was also rumored to be eyeing a presidential bid in 2016, was also present during the alumni homecoming.

Roxas said he attended the event as an adopted member of PMA “Maharlika” class of 1984.

“Well, I’ve been coming in for the last 20 years since I was adopted by class ’84,” he said in a separate interview.

Roxas dodged questions about the 2016 polls, saying focus should be given to important things like the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

He added that members of the ruling Liberal Party are not yet talking about politics.

When asked for his plans for 2016, Roxas replied: “Happy Valentines and I wish you (reporters) all a safe trip back.”

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