Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The fight between the “Noy-Mar” and “Noy-Bi” advocates has been traced to the rivalry between the Hyatt 10 and groups identified with the so-called Kamag-anak Inc. of ex-Tarlac Rep. Jose Cojuangco, the Philippine Daily Inquirer has learned from sources in the camp of presidential front-runner Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
The “Noy-Bi” tandem of Aquino for president and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay for vice president was purportedly fielded to derail the “Noy-Mar” tandem of Aquino and Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, which was seen as “not good” for Cojuangco and his allies, the sources said.
Pastor “Boy” Saycon, who is Cojuangco’s colleague in the Council for Philippine Affairs (Copa), which was pushing for the “Noy-Bi” tandem, denied Cojuangco’s involvement. “Peping is out of this,” Saycon said.
The so-called Kamag-anak Inc. refers to the relatives of Aquino who were allegedly involved in corrupt activities that tainted the administration of his mother, Cory Aquino, from 1986 to 1992.
Cojuangco’s group, according to a source, has zeroed in on former Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, antipoverty commission head Imelda Nicolas, and Aquino’s campaign manager, former Education Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, who all quit the Arroyo administration at the height of the “Hello Garci” scandal in 2005. Along with seven other Cabinet members, the group also called on Ms Arroyo to step down at a presscon at Hyatt Hotel, thus their name “Hyatt 10.”
Cojuangco’s group, according to sources, did not want any Hyatt 10 member back in the Cabinet under the new Aquino administration because they were once closely associated with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Cracks in the campaign
In an interview, Soliman admitted there were cracks in the campaign.
“I know that there are people in the campaign who are not comfortable with us. But that’s the beauty of the campaign. There is diversity, there is broadness, and there lies the challenge. What united us is the common desire for change and in seeing “Noy-Mar” as the real partners of the people in effecting that desired change,” Soliman said.
She said the group was “very focused to be united… until we found out that we were not so united when the ads of Noy-Bi started coming out.”
She said Aquino was “made aware of the concerns of the Noy-Mar people.”
According to the sources, the “Noy-Bi” tandem was promoted by groups who campaigned alongside with the “Noy-Mar” volunteers.
‘Sleeping with enemy’
“We were sleeping with the enemy, but God knows and sees everything,” an elderly volunteer said.
“I was deceived. I volunteered to campaign for Noy-Mar. Then sometime in April, my organization was already for Noy-Bi, and I was still campaigning with them in the sorties,” another volunteer complained.
The groups identified with the Noy-Bi campaign include Copa, Philippine Patriotic Movement (PPM), Noynoy Aquino for President Movement (NAPM), Tuloy Pnoy and Yellow Force.
Cojuangco founded Copa with Saycon, Boy Montelibano, William Esposo, Louis Sison, Maria Montelibano and Triccie Sison.
The NAPM was founded by Ed Roces days after the death of President Corazon Aquino in August 2009 to gather a million signatures that would convince Noynoy Aquino to run for president. The NAPM officers include Salvador Rivera, Marcedes Prieto and Briccio Santos.
Roces was duplicating the campaign launched by his father, Don Chino Roces, to convince the widow of opposition Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. to run for president against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1986 snap election.
Yellow Force vs Yellow Army
The Yellow Force, which was launched during the election period, was apparently organized to rival the Noy-Mar volunteer group organized by Soliman, the Yellow Army. The daughter of Cojuangco, Mikee C. Jaworski, has been identified as a prime mover in the Yellow Force and Tuloy Pnoy.
The NAPM holds its office in Makati on the fourth floor of Parc House along EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue), just two floors above the office of the Yellow Ribbon Movement, a staunch Noy-Mar volunteer campaign group composed mostly of wives of retired military and police officers, and former members of the Aquino Cabinet. The Yellow Ribbon Movement was organized by Margie Juico, who also served in the Aquino Cabinet.
Ironically, Noynoy Aquino and his campaign manager, Butch Abad of Hyatt 10, have their offices on the third floor of the same building.