Fernan’s fate awaits Puno should he run in 2010

    CLARK FREEPORT —  Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez said yesterday that Chief Justice Reynato Puno could suffer the same fate as his predecessor, the late former Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan, should he run for president in the 2010 elections.

    This, even as former congressman Prospero Pichay, who acted as spokesperson during the Lakas-CMD extended executive caucus here yesterday, stressed his party has enough qualified presidential candidates for the 2010 polls. He cited Vice Pres. Noli de Castro as one of them.

    “People should stop mentioning his name,” Pichay said in an interview.

    For his part, Gonzalez said “Justice Puno should not be involved in politics”.

    “He is a good man. He has dedicated his life to the judiciary. The transition to politics may not be good for him,” he said.

    Gonzalez warned that Puno “might end up just like former Chief Justice Fernan” who, he noted, run under the banner of a major political party in 1992, but lost.

    “When Fernan run, he was also backed by the then ruling LDP party but he did not win,” he noted.

    Fernan resigned as chief justice in 1991 and run in tandem with Speaker Ramon Mitra in the elections the following year. He, however, lost to Joseph Estrada in the vice presidential race. In the 1995 elections, he ran and won for senator under a coalition and, in 1998, was elected Senate president of the 11th congress.

    This amid reports that factions in the Lakas-CMD still persist in convincing Puno to run for president. The Chief Justice had already earlier junked such a proposal.

    In her speech during the caucus, Pres. Arroyo created the National Consolidation and Unification Committee (NCUC) to be headed by presidential political adviser Gabriel Claudio to pursue the merger between Lakas CMD and Kampi.

    Pichay said both pro administration parties have “enough presidentiables” and that there is therefore no need to consider another person from outside their realm.

    He specifically cited Vice Pres. Noli de Castro who, he said, “is one of us” despite his lack of political affiliation. He also cited Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando as among administration presidentiables “who are interested to run” in 2010.


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