House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo clarified on Tuesday that she was not endorsing particular candidates or political parties but was only providing a platform and exposure for the “most competent and most qualified candidates” in the May elections.
She made the statement when she hosted senatorial candidates former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and clean elections advocate Glenn Chong and Family First Party List nominee Anne Andanar in her hometown in Lubao, Pampanga.
Arroyo explained that since Kapampangans are “intelligent voters and therefore vote on their own,” all that political leaders of the province like herself can only do is to provide the platform to enable candidates to present themselves to the voters.
“Kagaya ng sinasabi ko, dito sa Pampanga hindi command vote kasi intelihente ang mga botante dito. Hindi porke’t sinabi mo ito ang iboto, yun ang iboboto,” she said.
“So, hindi issue ang endorsement. Kaming mga leader ng probinsya, ito ang nakikita kong papel naming, yung mga karapat-dapat at very qualified na dapat iboto ng taumbayan, ipakilala sa mga botante,” she added.
“Tapos sila ang magpapaliwanag at ang botante ang magdi-desisyon kung gusto ba nila ito. Kaya ‘yan ang ginagawa ko. Ine-expose sila para sa ganun sila ang magkaintindihan,” Arroyo said.
Arroyo had earlier attended the kick-off campaign of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago in Pampanga.
She also hosted senatorial candidates former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan and lawyer Larry Gadon in her district.
As proof that Kapampangan voters are intently listening to the candidates, Arroyo said people have been giving warm reception to the candidates they are hosting.
“Nakikita naman ninyo ang pagtanggap ng tao, nakikinig talaga (sila). Kapag maganda ang sinasabi, nagpapalakpak. So, ganun ka-intelihente ang botanteng Kapangpaangan. So, hindi endorsement ang kailangan kundi esposure para sila ang magdi-desisyon,” she said.
She also brought Enrile, Chong and Andanar to meet retired Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto in Betis, Pampanga.