After backing Villar, Zubiri quits Lakas-Kampi

Posted at 03/24/2010 3:28 PM | Updated as of 03/24/2010 3:49 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Bukidnon Governor Jose Zubiri told ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) on Wednesday he is resigning from Lakas-Kampi-CMD, his party of the last 18 years, within the day.

Zubiri issued the statement amid moves by the administration coalition to expel him for openly supporting Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manny Villar.

Zubiri, the provincial party chairman of Lakas-Kampi-CMD, said he will submit his resignation within the day and send it to the party's headquarters by fax.

He said this would make it easier for the administration party to take action since he does not want to make it appear that he may still change his mind.

Gov. Zubiri is the father of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is supporting the Lakas-Kampi-CMD's official candidate for president, Gilbert Teodoro.

The senator has distanced himself from his father's decision, and assured that he and his brother, Bukidnon 3rd District Rep. Jose Ma. Zubiri III, will continue to support Teodoro.

On Tuesday, Teodoro said the party would be taking "appropriate measures" against Gov. Zubiri for endorsing Villar.

Teodoro has been lagging behind Villar, Sen. Benigno Aquino III, and former Joseph Estrada in the presidential surveys

Political observers are not surprised by the move taken by the Zubiri family to support two candidates.

They said many political families have been doing this to ensure that whoever wins in the presidential race, they will still have ties to Malacañang. -- reports from ANC; Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News