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Official Announcement as Vice-Presidential Candidate

November 17, 2009

Today, I officially declare my candidacy as vice president in the May 2010 elections.
I am running in tandem with Nacionalista Party’s Sen. Manny Villar as the presidential standard-bearer.
While I remain a loyal member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and I thank them for their solid and generous support, I have decided to team up with Manny Villar and the Nacionalista Party because we share many things in common.
We share the same vision of a nation where there is lasting peace and sustained progress because the people have been emancipated from poverty and despair.
We share the same commitment to good governance marked by transparency and accountability, and the efficient and effective delivery of vital social services to the people, especially the poor and the marginalized.
We share the same dedication to the protection of the environment that has gained utmost urgency with the reality of climate change and global warming.
WE SHARE THE SAME GOAL TO BUILD A STRONG AND VIBRANT NATIONAL ECONOMY COMPETITIVE IN A GLOBAL MARKET, YET ENSURING AN EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH AND OPPORTUNITES FOR ALL FILIPINOS.
Both of us also come from humble beginnings.
Manny Villar grew up in the slums of Tondo district in Manila. At a very early age he had to help his mother sell shrimps and fish at Divisoria market. But through sheer hard work and perseverance, through sipag and tiyaga, he managed to pull himself up by the bootstraps. He was able to enter the University of the Philippines and acquire a degree in Business Administration. And the rest, as they say, is history. He started a small business that later evolved into a company specializing in low-cost housing that is now a recognized leader in property development. With his proven success in business, Manny Villar embarked on a public career to help other people improve their station in life, first as a congressman, and later as a senator. He holds the sole distinction of having held the positions of both Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President.
I grew up in what is now the city of Malabon, a working-class district where my family, like many other residents, had to cope with hard times and trying circumstances, including perennial flooding. But I was fortunate enough to be able to enter the State University and COMPLETE A DEGREE in Broadcast Journalism. From there, I embarked on a career in broadcasting for a good number of years. After carving a niche in Philippine broadcasting, I felt it was time to move on. And that’s when my career as a legislator began, with my election as a senator in 1998.
I cite all this to underscore the fact that Manny Villar and I have worked hard to be where we are now.
I draw parallels in our individual lives to highlight the fact that Manny Villar and Loren Legarda have experienced the same hardships in life. We have faced the same trials and tribulations that people in a developing country unquestioningly accept as part of destiny.
But where others choose to be apathetic or blind to the sufferings of others, we believe we can make a difference in the lives of other Filipinos.
And that is why today, in declaring my intention to vie for the Vice Presidency in May 2010, I offer myself to our people as the other half of a tandem that seeks a new beginning for the Filipino nation.
We have forged an alliance not out of political expediency, nor to seek high office and power for its own sake, but to catalyze change that will move the nation forward.
We do not merely promise change. We represent a powerful force for change for the better.
Change, it is said, is the only constant. Change is already taking place. Through our own individual efforts, Manny Villar and I have begun to spark change that our country needs.
Manny Villar seeks to put an end to poverty and change the lives of Filipinos for the better through entrepreneurship, and through sipag and tiyaga in OUR RESPECTIVE fields of endeavor.
I have done my part in raising awareness ON environmental issues, not only by actually planting many trees that will help reverse climate change IN ORDER TO SEQUESTER CARBON AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, but also by encouraging PEOPLE to help PRESERVE our biodiversity SIMULTANEOUS WITH NURTURING SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS IN RURAL AREAS.
But apart from taking a pro-active stand in environmental causes, I have focused my efforts on other key areas of national concern.
I stand for balanced and sustained socio-economic development. Towards this goal, I fully support agricultural productivity that will PROVIDE TENURIAL SECURITY TO THE TILLERS AND WILL spur countryside development IN ORDER TO help our farmers improve their lives.
I have long been an advocate of government efforts to protect the rights and promote the welfare of overseas Filipino workers. With no less than a tenth of our total population now working abroad as OFWs and keeping the economy afloat through their remittances, the least the government should do is to help them when they are in distress AND WHEN THEIR RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED. I WILL ADVOCATE A STRATEGY TO HARNESS REMITTANCES IN WAYS THAT WILL STRENGTHEN LIVELIHOOD CAPACITY OF MIGRANT FAMILIES AND LOCAL ECONOMIES.
AFTER 40 YEARS OF ARMED CONFLICT, IT HAS BECOME APPARENT THAT NEITHER SIDE HAS THE ABILITY TO MILITARILY ELIMINATE THE OTHER. SERIOUS AND SUSTAINED POLITICAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT IS A NECESSITY AND THE MORE PRODUCTIVE PATH TO A JUST PEACE WITH THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT AND THE MILF.
I likewise stand solidly behind efforts to strengthen the role of women in development, THUS to involve them in all aspects of decision-making, AND TO WORK TOWARDS TRANSFORMING ALL FORMS OF INEQUALITIES AND INJUSTICES BASED ON GENDER.
My record as a legislator is open to public scrutiny. My experience in media as well as in the Senate has given me enough insights into the problems that our country faces. And I believe that by seeking higher office, I will be in a better vantage point to contribute whatever I can to make our nation move forward in the right direction.
Today, I cast my lot with Manny Villar and the Nacionalista Party because I believe our partnership will ensure a new beginning and a better future for all Filipinos.
Ours is a partnership for peace and progress for the Philippines in the next six years.
And in this partnership, in this alliance for meaningful change and reforms in Philippine society, we share a common bond of complete trust in the capabilities and talents of Filipinos, as well as unwavering faith in Divine Providence.
But to make this partnership work, I urge our people unite behind efforts to ensure clean and fair elections in May 2010. The coming political exercise is our chance to prove to the nation and the international community that we are a mature democracy that can freely choose our leaders.
Ito po ay isang alyansang makatao at makakalikasan.
Makatao dahil ang dapat makinabang sa lahat ng pagpupunyagi natin sa larangang pang-ekonomiya, pampulitika at panlipunan ay nakatuon sa pag-unlad ng bawat Pilipino.
At makakalikasan dahil ang pangmatagalang pag-unlad ng ating bansa ay nakasalalay sa pagpahahalaga natin sa ating kapaligiran at sa pangangalaga natin sa ating mga likas na kayamanan.
Nananawagan ako sa lahat ng Pilipino na maki-isa sa tambalantin sa ating mga likas na kayamanan.
Nananawagan ako sa lahat ng Pilipino na maki-isa sa tambalang Villar-Legarda dahil ito lamang ang kumakatawan sa bagong pag-asa para sa ating bayan.
Naririto kami upang pangunahan ang pagbagago na kinakailangan ng ating bansa at hinahangad ng lahat ng ating mamamayan .
Maraming salamat at mabuhay tayong lahat!