Noli: ‘From Day One I’m prepared, but not preparing to take over’

Vice-President Noli de Castro said Saturday he was "prepared" to assume the presidency, but was not "preparing" to take over from President Arroyo as he said he too was in search for the truth on the controversies facing the country.
De Castro clarification came after an exclusive report on Friday, which said he was "all set" to assume the presidency.
"Iba yung naghahanda at handa, at alam ko ‘yong aking constitutional na tungkulin sa ilalim ng ating saligang batas bilang vice-president," he said in his radio program "Para sa Bayan," aired over dzMM.
(There's a difference between preparing and being prepared, and I know my constitutional role as vice president.)
The report also said De Castro was in "close contact" with groups and personalities advocating "constitutional succession."
De Castro said describing his actions as "preparing" to take over would be like saying he already had a "shadow Cabinet," which he also denied having.
"Iba iyong handa, pagkat sabi ko nga Day One handa ako. Pero ‘yong sabihin, kulang na lang niyong sabihin na may shadow cabinet na ako eh, hindi naman ganoon, pangit naman ‘yong ganoon," de Castro said.
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(There’s a difference when you say you’re prepared, I’ve already said from Day One I’m prepared. But when you said that, short of saying that I already have a shadow cabinet, that’s not true, that’s not good.)
He repeated his previous statement that the Filipino people elected him to the vice-presidency and that the responsibility of the vice-president is to assume the leadership role in case of a vacancy.
"Ako ang constitutional successor ng Presidente at laging nasa isip ko na kaya nga may Vice President ay para, just in case na may vacancy at mangailangan, ay may Vice President na hahalili sa Presidente - kung may vacancy," he said.
(I’m the constitutional successor to the president and it’s always on my mind the reason we have a Vice President, just in case of a vacancy and the situation requires it, a Vice President would replace the President – if there is a vacancy.)
De Castro also said that he is "learning" the things needed for the leadership role - if ever there would be one - by actively participating in the government's day-to-day activities.
"Alam mo ako, siguro, simula noong ako'y maging Vice President, once or twice lang ako na um-absent sa Cabinet meeting and sa other meetings sa Malacañang, kasi gusto kong matuto. ‘Yon lang naman ang paraan para matuto ka. Hindi naman nababasa sa libro yan eh. Hindi naman tinuturo ‘yan sa Ateneo o La Salle eh," he said.
(When I started to assume as Vice President, it was only once or twice that I was absent from a Cabinet meeting and from all other meetings in Malacañang, because I want to learn. It is the only way to learn. You don’t get that from books. They don’t teach you that neither in Ateneo nor La Salle.)
Also searching for the truthDe Castro said he shared the sentiments of many Filipinos who want the truth to come out, but he said he has to consider all sides.
It is also important to assess the evidence being presented by parties to a controversy, he said.
"Being an elected official, I have to study, weigh both sides, not just one side," he said.
"I am also for ‘search for truth’ but you cannot find truth in rallies," De Castro.

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