Kris denies backing Kiko

June 22, 2010

Roel Pareño with Christina Mendez
Philippine Star
June 22, 2010

ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines  –Popular television personality Kris Aquino-Yap, sister of president-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, has denied endorsing the bid of Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan for Senate president.

Aquino-Yap arrived in the city yesterday with her elder sister Viel to distribute school supplies in Sta. Maria Elementary School and Tetuan Central School.

The two sisters also visited the Carmelite convent to thank Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles and Carmelite nun Sister Agnes, who guided Noynoy Aquino in his decision-making to run for president during his retreat in the convent. Aquino-Yap said she does not meddle in her brother’s political decisions.

“I’m not the one you elected. I will just be there to entertain the people who will attend Noy’s inauguration,” Aquino-Yap said.

She said she has spoken to Pangilinan about the supposed endorsement, and he also denied it.

Aquino-Yap has supposedly promised actor-turned-politicians Senators Bong Revilla and Lito Lapid and Senate president pro-tempore Jinggoy Estrada that they would retain their current positions if they support Pangilinan’s candidacy.

Estrada has been holding his position since the term of former Senate president Manuel Villar Jr.

Revilla is chairman of the Senate committee on public works while Lapid chairs the Senate committee on games and amusement. Sources said Aquino-Yap has also tried soliciting the support of Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, but he has not given a commitment yet. Aquino-Yap’s alleged solicitation of support for Pangilinan is contrary to her brother’s earlier statement that he would not have a hand in the race for the top post in the Senate. Pangilinan has expressed confidence that he will get the top Senate post despite stiff competition from Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., a former colleague at the so-called Wednesday Club at the Senate. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said he is stepping down from his post at noon of June 30, and will not be signing documents anymore. Enrile is supporting Pangilinan, who is pitted against Villar and Sen. Franklin Drilon.

“Kiko (Pangilinan) has spoken to me, Frank (Drilon) also. I said I cannot side with Villar,” he said.

Enrile took a position against Villar during the C-5 Road controversy and the Philippine Stock Exchange issue.

He has formed a bloc with Senators Gregorio Honasan, Vicente Sotto III, and Estrada. The candidate who gets 13 votes will be installed as Senate president.

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