Lakas eyes Bong Revilla for 2016

Angela Casauay
The senator with an amulet will most likely win, says an ally

PRESIDENTIAL BET. Lakas-CMD grooms Sen Bong Revilla to become the party standard bearer in 2016. File photo from Revilla's Facebook account.

MANILA, Philippines – Another movie star for president?

Quezon Rep Danilo Suarez on Wednesday, January 30, revealed that the former ruling party Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) is eyeing Sen Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr as its standard bearer in 2016. 

“Let’s not kid ourselves, he is also a pillar in our political hierarchy and possible candidate for another position. At saka may agimat iyon. Bihira ang senador na merong agimat (And besides, he has an amulet. A senator with an amulet is rare.),” Suarez said.

While serving as a senator, Revilla played the lead role in a series of “Agimat” films in recent installments of the Metro Manila Film Festival. 

“Well, keep in mind that we have seen it once. We have seen it before and we’ve seen it happenning again. It’s different when a candidate comes from the masses and Tagalog films,” Suarez said. 

In 1998, Joseph Estrada, a movie star, was elected president. It was a landslide win. In 2004, Estrada’s close friend, the late Fernando Poe Jr, also ran for president and finished second to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Suarez said Lakas will bank on Revilla’s stature as a movie star. 

I’m saying there’s a big difference, iyong hindi mo na kelangan pang pag nalaman andiyan iyong artista ang mga tao nagkakagulo to go to the plaza. Hindi mo na kailangang hakutin, pakiusapan with several sabihin, ‘libre lunch diyan pumunta lang kayo. Ito ‘pag artista iiwanan lahat e,” Suarez said. (I’m saying there’s a big difference. When they learn that an actor is going to be there, people scramble to go to the plaza. You don’t have to ask them, or request them to attend and tell them there’s free lunch just so they would go. If there’s an actor, they will leave everything to attend a rally,” Suarez said.) 

In preparation for 2016, Lakas-CMD is fielding an unopposed re-electionist to replace Revilla as party president. This way, Lakas can “actively participate in the 2013 election” in the build up to 2016, Suarez said.  

Revilla will be busy in the May elections. Revilla’s wife, Cavite Rep Lani Revilla, is running for re-election while his son, Jolo, is running for vice governor of Cavite. 

Lakas-CMD will hold a caucus on Tuesday, February 5 at the Manila Golf and Country Club, where Leyte Rep Ferdinand “Martin” Romualdez is expected to be sworn in as new party president.

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