Several senior members of administration party Lakas-Kampi-CMD may withdraw their support from Gilberto “Gibo" Teodoro Jr. in favor of “another presidential candidate," House Speaker Prospero Nograles warned Tuesday.
These members were those who were “neglected" and “left out of the loop" in the current presidential campaign, Nograles said as he accused Teodoro of having a “wrong sense of priorities."
“The other senior Lakas members I think who have been neglected or even left out of the loop in this presidential campaign may now be thinking or considering the possibility of maybe adopting another presidential candidate who they feel would give them some political importance," he said in a text message sent to reporters.
Teodoro’s camp, on the other hand, was not threatened by this, saying it would “at least cleanse the party ranks."
“It is sad that people want to leave, but we cannot do anything about it. At least, there will be cleansing of the party ranks," said lawyer Mike Toledo, Teodoro’s spokesman, in a phone interview with GMANews.TV.
“Those unsure of their support for Secretary Teodoro would leave. Those who are staying are stronger and more united," he added.
Toledo said the possible defections would not affect Teodoro’s candidacy since the party still has the “great majority" of local officials supporting the administration party bet.
Out of control
In a separate statement, Nograles said the administration party has been “out of control" ever since Teodoro became its national chairman.
He said Teodoro “abandoned the party… at the most crucial hour [during the] start of the local campaign" when he resigned as its chairperson late last month to supposedly focus on his candidacy.
“When he was being looked up to as the leader who would marshal Lakas candidates in the local level the biggest number in the country, Gibo chose to resign as chairman," Nograles, considered as an administration stalwart, said.
On Monday, Nograles, who is seeking the mayoralty post in Davao City, expressed his plans to transfer to the Nacionalista Party (NP) in the face of various defections hounding Lakas-Kampi-CMD. He, however, clarified the next day that he is not leaving the administration party, although he admitted feeling out of the loop as far as party matters are concerned.
At present, senior party members are consulting with their local leaders to determine if they should continue supporting Teodoro, Nograles said.
“We may know by the end of the week as they are now conducting consultations with their local leaders," he said.
To prevent this, Nograles said Teodoro should “shape up and address the grievances of Lakas members."