BRO. EDDIE FIGHTING TILL THE END

MANILA, April 15, 2004
 
(STAR)
By Jerry Botial  - Bangon Pilipinas standard-bearer Bro. Eddie Villanueva rejected yesterday any calls for him to withdraw his candidacy to bolster President Arroyo’s chances in the May 10 elections.

In an ambush interview at a restaurant after a motorcade through the towns of Caloocan and Malabon, Villanueva told reporters that, even if he continues to languish at the bottom of poll surveys, he will not quit.

"That is impossible," he said.

Villanueva scoffed at survey results showing him receiving single-digit support.

"What surveys? These are at most questionable," he said.

Villanueva said the large crowds that attended his rallies nationwide proved he enjoyed high levels of support.

"Nag-aapoy ang suporta, in fact. Sa Iloilo, tatlong libo kay GMA, sa atin 12 libo (In fact, the support has been ardent. In Iloilo, GMA got a crowd of 3,000. I got a crowd of 12,000)," he said.

Villanueva revealed that since December last year, he has received proposals from the administration for him to quit.

"De Venecia told me na kapag bumaba ang rating ko I should quit at makipagtulungan na lang ako kay GMA. Di ko tinanggap. Ini-insist nila. (Speaker Jose de Venecia told me that if my ratings go down I should quit and just help Mrs. Arroyo in her candidacy. I refused. But they were insistent)," he said.

At the restaurant about 200 supporters and members of the media, seated at 13 tables of 10 people each, partook of a hearty Chinese meal.

Among the supporters included show business personalities like Yoyoy Villame, Melissa Mendez and Tonette "Macho" Roquel. Also present were representatives of various religious groups, including Muslims, Catholics, born-again Christians and even Masons.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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