VP Binay open to LP-UNA alliance in 2013 polls
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday said he was open to the possibility of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) jointly forming a senatorial slate with the Liberal Party (LP) for the 2013 national elections.
"Okay iyon, ang sinasabi namin nang magkaroon ng UNA candidates ay ang mabigyan ang mga kababayan natin ng opportunity para makapamili pa ng mga qualified and willing to work in government," Binay told reporters.
"Open [ako]. Political suicide iyon kapag hindi ka open sa ganoon. Mapapagbintangan kaming napakayabang namin, na may monopoly," he added.
He issued the statement after San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, one of UNA's prospective bets in the 2013 senatorial polls, on Sunday proposed the formation of a "super senatorial slate" by the administration's LP and Binay's UNA.
For the 2013 polls, Binay formed UNA with former President Joseph Estrada. UNA is a coalition between Binay's Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) and Estrada's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).
Binay said he was not aware of any talks between LP and UNA regarding the proposed super slate but quickly stressed that he doesn't see any problem should LP want to become allies with them.
"Hindi ko alam sa mga kasama ko kung narinig na nila iyong super body na sinasabi ninyo. Sana maniwala kayo na hindi ko nalalaman iyon, pero siguro iba sa mga kasamahan, mga backdoor," he said.
This early, UNA's team is seen as a possible threat to LP in the 2013 polls, which might have driven the ruling party to team up with President Benigno Aquino's formal rival Senator Manuel Villar and his party, the Nacionalista Party.
But asked if the administration sees UNA as an ally or opposition, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said: "UNA has to describe itself first. Obviously we can describe LP as the administration party. But as to UNA, they have to describe themselves. We will not be defining them. They should define themselves."
Binay, for his part, said that UNA would not be the usual opposition party.
"Kaya nga ba maingat at parati ko na lamang sinasabi sa inyo, ang salitang opposition na ang ibig sabihin ay paninira sa pagkatao, paghahabla kabi-kabila, hindi iyon ang opposition ng UNA," he said.
"Kami, basically, tutulong sa tuwid na daan. Iyon lang, kapag naliligwak, nagkakamali iyong iba naming kasama sa gobyerno, tatawagan namin ng pansin. Kami ay hindi paninira ang gagawin,
kundi constructive [criticism] para magkaisa at maiayos ang gawain ng pamahalaan," he added.
Aside from Ejercito, UNA is also planning to field former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, whistleblower Joey de Venecia, and incumbent senator Gregorio Honasan in the 2013 polls.
On the other hand, LP is reportedly fielding Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara, former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, and TESDA Chairman Joel Villanueva. But because of LP's alliance with NP, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Villar's wife former Las Piñas City Rep. Cynthia Villar may also run with the LP bets.
Lacierda said there is also discussion for Sen. Francis Escudero to join their slate as a guest candidate.
"[But] let’s wait for the LP to make a decision on that matter. We don’t want to preempt the LP to announce the candidates," he said. — RSJ, GMA News
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