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Philippine Senate head confirms joining 2010 presidential election

By Xinhua,

Manila : The Philippine Senate President Manuel Villar has confirmed that he will run for the president of the country in the upcoming May 2010 elections, local media reported Thursday.

Attending a private party on Wednesday night, Villar told TV news network ABS-CBN News that there is “no turning back” once he decided to run for the top executive post.

Villar, president of the country’s oldest political party Nacionalista Party, said he still has to consult his friends and allies on who will be running in his ticket for 2010.

Born in Manila in 1949, Villar entered politics in 1992. In 2000, he became the first House Speaker in Philippine history to impeach a president, ex-chief executive of the state, Joseph Estrada. Villar was elected as the head of the Nacionalista Party in 2004 and took over the post of Senate President in 2006.

He placed third in the presidential candidate popularity survey conducted by the independent polling outfit Social Weather Stations. With the support of around 25 percent of the survey respondents, Villar came only behind Vice-President Noli de Castroand Senator Loren Legarda, who enjoyed 31 percent and 26 percent supporting rates respectively.