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GMA ally backs Roxas, Robredo

BALAYAN, Batangas – The tandem of Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo got an unexpected endorsement in their campaign sortie here yesterday.

A staunch ally of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, her former executive secretary Eduardo Ermita, declared yesterday his support to the administration candidates, citing his close friendship with Roxas as one of the main reasons.

“First of all, I and Mar are friends. We’ve been in Congress for nine years, that’s why I am here,” Ermita told reporters in an interview, recalling the years in the 1990s when Roxas was still the representative of Capiz.

Ermita, it was recalled, used to be congressman of the first district of Batangas before he was appointed by Arroyo as executive secretary.

In yesterday’s event attended by thousands of people at the municipal plaza of Balayan, Ermita did not only show up in the campaign sortie but also went on stage to declare support to Mar and Leni.

“Let’s welcome the next president of the Philippines. Long Live Mar Roxas!,” he said.

Ermita’s declaration of support appeared to run counter against the reported instruction of GMA to all her allies to extend full support to the candidacy of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Binay has been maintaining alliance with the camp of GMA, starting during the 2010 elections when the tandem of former President Joseph Estrada and Binay included GMA allies in its senatorial slate.