Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gordon eyes telcos tycoon Pangilinan as his VP

Senator Richard Gordon is eyeing telecommunications tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan to be his running mate or even the presidential candidate of the senator’s political party, which would create the latest intriguing pair for the May 2010 polls.

The tandem would combine Pangilinan's wealth and vast communications network with Gordon's political experience and savvy. But the senator said that it's not Pangilinan's money he is after. The corporate taipan was not returning calls but is reportedly still weighing his political options.

“Gusto ko si Manny Pangilinan. Gusto ko kasi may continuity [sa mga proyekto ng government]. Kasi wala rin akong pera, pero hindi ko gagamitin ang pera niya, gusto ko gagawa ng pera para sa tao (I want Manny Pangilinan because I want continuity in government projects. I don’t have the money, but I will not use his money, I want to make money for the people). Manny can help me do that," Gordon told reporters at GMA’s “Tatakbo Ka Ba?" in The Fort in Taguig City after he and 12 other political aspirants pledged not to cheat.

Pangilinan is the chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) group, including Smart Communications, Inc., the country's leading mobile communications company. Pangilinan was on Forbes Magazine's list of 40 richest Filipinos in both 2007 and 2008, but was dropped from the list in 2009. Yet he is still widely considered one of the country's savviest deal makers and has long been rumored to be taking over major media companies, the latest of which is the Philippine Star.

Gordon said he had asked Pangilinan about the prospect of being his running mate and even told the latter that he can be the standard bearer of Bagumbayan Party if he wants to. Pangilinan said he would think things over, according to Gordon.

“Nag-iisip siya, nag-iisip kami," he said. Gordon and Pangilinan were classmates at the Ateneo de Manila University.

“Si Manny sanay sa business pero 'pag pumasok ka sa gobyerno kung wala kang experience, papaikutin ka dyan kaya mas maganda kung mauna ako, susunod siya at hahanap kami ng kapalit para sa third round ng change (Manny may be adept in business but if you are inexperienced in politics, you will be given the run-around so it is better that I take the lead and he be my running mate). And once you have continued change, then you are going to have a changed country," Gordon said.

Gordon served as an Olongapo City mayor, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman, Tourism secretary, and is the current Philippine National Red Cross chairman, aside from being a senator. - AMITA LEGASPI, GMANews.TV

Gordon-Pangilinan for 2010? Sen. Gordon on Sunday floated the idea of having Manuel Pangilinan as his running mate, or even his party's standard bearer, in 2010. Joe Galvez (Gordon)/ GMANews.TV file photo (Pangilinan)

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