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Cayetano mum on FVR endorsement

Mike Frialde - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - Senator and vice presidential bet Alan Peter Cayetano is mum on the alleged endorsement of his candidacy by former President Fidel Ramos.

Cayetano and his runningmate, LDP-standard bearer and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte earlier met with Ramos who was photographed raising the arms of the two in an apparent show of his endorsement.

“Malaki ang respeto ko kay President Ramos. Nung nagkaroon ng konting hilingan sa picture taking ay biglang nagtaasan ng kamay kasi nakita nya na that among the candidates, Mayor Duterte has the connections, has the temper, has the patience makipag-usap sa kaliwa, makipag-usap sa kanan, makipag-usap sa pulis, makipag-usap sa military, at makipag-usap sa mga Moro leaders. He also knows that Mayor Duterte ay may tapang din na kapag niloko loko tayo, hindi rin sya papayag na mahati-hati an gating bansa,” he told reporters after conducting his “Ronda Serye” or discussion of issues with patients of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila on Tuesday afternoon.

“As far as the endorsement is concerned, siya na ang magsalita at tao na nag maghusga. Pero very encouraging 'yung mga sinabi nya. I’d rather siya na ang magsabi kung sino ang nasa puso nya. O baka secret na lang sino ang iboboto niya kasi, ako personally, I’d like to preserve his stature as  an older statesman. Kailngan natin siya. Kailangan natin ang advise niya. Sino man ang mananalo, asset siya. So unang una, kahit walang taasan ng kamay, sulit 'yung mga oras na makipag-usap sa kanya. Sapagkat napakalawak ng kanyang kaalaman at experience,” Cayetano added.

Cayetano said his talk with Ramos focused on various items, mostly concerning the country’s national defense and diplomatic ties with the United States.

“Napag-usapan naming yung problema sa China, relationship sa US, at napagusapan naming na even 'yung shipbuilding, at 'yung paggawa nung ibang mga armas, di kailangang imported lahat kasi, noong panahon niya, kasama sa mga agreements 'yung technology transfer at dito na gagawin yung iba,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cayetano is confident that he and Duterte will still be able to win at the polls despite their meager campaign resources.

“We are confident that March will be our month. Napakalaki ng perang kailangan mo sa election to be competitive. Pero kami ay naniniwala na even if we don’t have the same resources, as the others, we have a chance that we could make it,” he said.

Cayetano added that even with their latest survey results, he and Duterte will still be able to convince more voters to vote for them come election day.

“I’m confident that with two more months, people have not made up their minds and will consider Duterte-Cayetano. If you look at all internal surveys, di lang 'yung sa amin, ang undecided ay 3 percent kung ngayon ang election. Pero kung tinanong mo na sa Mayo 9 ang election, 30-32 percent ay di pa sure kung sino ang iboboto. That is why surveys are very erratic. In November I was 10 percent, in December, 20 percent, In January, 14. So in one month, you can gain 10-12 percent. Eh kung ang lamangan n'yo is between 10 and 15 percent, it is still anyone’s ballgame,” he said.

“Surveys only measure the sentiments today. It does not measure the sentiments tomorrow. But rather than focus on the surveys, ano ba nag issues. Kasi kung may mananalo at di ma-addrress ang issues, ang election is just an electoral contest. Para lamang sa pulitiko. It is not real change sa ating bansa. So I’m hoping that despite the surveys, ay di tayo madistract lahat. There is so much job to be done,” he added.

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