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De Castro won't seek 2nd term, hints at 2010 plans

Yup, but the moment GMA raises his hand, he is a dead duck.

*****

by LYNDA JUMILLA, ABS-CBN News | 10/10/2008 6:46 PM

Vice-President Noli de Castro on Friday ruled out seeking re-election and hinted that for him, it was the presidency or nothing.

"Second term, definitely not. Vice-President na ako ngayon e. [Naging] vice president na rin ako ng ABS-CBN. Kung VP din lang, hindi na," de Castro said. The former broadcaster was vice president for radio of ABS-CBN before running for senator in 2001.

(I'm already the Vice-President. I was also vice-president of ABS-CBN. If it's the VP [post] again, never mind.)

When asked if he was running for president, de Castro said: "I don't know. We'll see."

Asked what would make him decide to run for president, he said: "The presidency, that's destiny."

"Ako, ‘di naman ako nangarap maging senador pero naging senador ako. ‘Di naman ako nangarap maging vice president, pero naging VP ako. Kung ano yung destiny, ‘yun siguro ang masusunod," said de Castro, who is reportedly being courted by the administration’s Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party to be their standard-bearer in 2010.

(I never dreamed of becoming senator but I became one. I never dreamed of becoming vice-president but I became one. Whatever destiny has in store, that is what will happen.)

De Castro has consistently topped surveys on presidential preferences. But he said this would not be the determining factor for him to join the presidential fray.

Should de Castro run for president, he would be pitting himself against good friend Senate President Manny Villar who earlier announced his intention to seek the presidency. Both de Castro and Villar belong to the so-called “Wednesday Club” of incumbent and former senators.

But de Castro said Villar has never broached the subject of presidential ambitions with him. "Siguro, iniiwasan na rin niya na pag-usapan namin (Maybe he's avoiding that so we won't discuss it),” he said.

Both de Castro and Villar are also perceived to be using the issue of Filipino migrant workers as a vehicle for launching their political plans, whether real or perceived.

The billionaire Villar has been busy repatriating stranded or abused overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) mostly from the Middle East, supposedly using his personal funds for their airfare.

De Castro’s aides, however, insist the Vice-President has a heavier claim to the title of “OFW advocate” by virtue of his being named presidential adviser on OFWs.

De Castro said he welcomes anyone -- politician or not, presidentiable or not -- who wants to look after the welfare of OFWs, just like Villar.

"Basta makakatulong ka, lalo na sa mga stranded OFWs, okay lang. Lalo na kung mapapauwi lahat ni Manny ‘yan," de Castro said.

(As long as you can help especially those stranded OFWs, that's OK. Especially if Manny brings them all home.)

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