• Villanueva, Tolentino declare Senate bids

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    TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Director General Joel Villanueva and Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on Tuesday declared their intention to run for senator in next year’s election.

    Villanueva said he is “100 percent” certain of throwing his hat into the May 2016 senatorial derby after getting the support of President Benigno Aquino 3rd. He is set to formally announce his Senate bid on October 6 at the Cuneta Astrodome.

    “I can now speak on the issue with certainty because the President has given his 100 percent blessing,” the Tesda chief told reporters.

    Villanueva clarified that he is not a member of the Liberal Party (LP) but he will not leave Aquino.

    “I will definitely be part of the Tuwid na Daan (Straight Path) at hindi ko ugali mang-iwan ng kaibigan at hindi po ako tatakbo if walang blessing ang Pangulong Aquino (I do not leave my friends and I will not run without the blessing of President Aquino),” he added.

    Tolentino meanwhile said he decided to accept the endorsement of local officials from Cavite.

    “I will submit my resignation to the President within the next few days, knowing fully well that I carry the flag of Cavite,” he said.

    In recognizing the support of Cavite leaders, Tolentino noted that he will ensure that Cavite will always be the country’s prime province.

    “Cavite should now be the heart and soul of the Philippines,” he said.

    He admitted that his MMDA post has been challenging and pointed out that the key to the problems of Metro Manila lies within the heart of Cavite as the province has vast potentials.

    Tolentino, who will be running under the ruling Liberal Party, said his platform will focus on the environment.

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