Profile: Noli de Castro

Like many of the Philippines' previous high-ranking politicians, Noli de Castro has found political success through celebrity. 

He was elected as vice-president last year, but has only been a politician since 2001, when he became a Senator. 

Up to that time, he worked as one of the country's most popular broadcasters, appearing in television and radio news and talk shows since 1976. 

Mr de Castro, widely known as "Kabayan" 

or "Countryman", gained a reputation in his programmes as a social crusader. 

In a recent survey, 30% of people polled chose the former anchorman as the best alternative to Mrs Arroyo to lead the country. 

But his critics point to his lack of political experience and question whether he has the necessary acumen. 

He was born on 6 July 1949 in Pola, Oriental Midoro, and grew up in poverty after his father died when he was 10. 

He graduated from university with a degree in commerce, before beginning his broadcasting career as a reporter for a popular radio show. 

When he entered politics in 2001, he polled the highest number of votes for Senators that year. 

Mrs Arroyo chose him as her running mate in the May 2004 national elections, and he won his position with a bigger margin than Mrs Arroyo won hers. 

Mr de Castro, once divorced, is married to Arlene Sinsuat, a former television news executive, and has three children.

08/07/2005

Bron : BBC News

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