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Solon: Lacson’s appointment not linked to 2016 polls

Liberal Party Secretary General and Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento rejected on Saturday claims that the appointment of former Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson as the rehabilitation czar has something to do with the 2016 presidential poll.

He appealed to government critics to stop injecting political color into the decision of President Benigno S. Aquino III to appoint Lacson, saying that it was based on “qualification and not politics.”

“I think that it is foul to put a political color on the appointment of Senator Ping as rehabilitation czar. Anyone in his right mind should not even be injecting such kinds of intrigues amidst the sufferings of tens of thousands of Filipino families who lost their homes, their loved ones and their possessions that were products of their sweat and blood,” Sarmiento said in a statement.

He said he believes that Lacson’s non-affiliation with any political party would help expedite the government’s rehabilitation efforts.

“I think that Senator Lacson’s non-affiliation with LP or with any political party makes him the perfect rehabilitation czar given the varying partisan affiliation of the various political leaders in the areas hit by Yolanda,” he said.

“The President basically wants everyone to work together in non-partisan fashion so that we can accomplish more in a very short period of time,” Sarmiento said.

He said it is still premature to say that the LP has started positioning for the presidential derby, clarifying that its decision to select bets for the 2016 polls will go through a process of selection as contained in their party’s charter.

Iloilo Rep. Jerry Trenas sees a transparent and immediate rebuilding of typhoon-ravaged areas under Lacson’s rehabilitation stint.

“They cannot accuse Senator Ping with favoritism because he is not a member of the administration party,” he said.

He expressed confidence that under Lacson’s leadership, “the rehabilitation effort will be free from corruption which is the biggest concern of many people who wanted to help us.”

“With Ping as head of our rehab effort, it’s an assurance that everything will be above board,” Trenas pointed out.