LP members reject 'super coalition' with UNA
Members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) on Tuesday rejected a proposal to assemble a "super senatorial slate" with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Senator Francis Pangilinan said a unity ticket may be "a bit complicated" at this point, since the LP has already discussed a possible coalition with the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
The senator added that an LP-UNA "super coalition" will be difficult to work out, since some potential senatorial bets in the UNA slate have been "harsh critics" of President Benigno Aquino III—the ruling party’s chairperson.
“I don’t know how these personalities can be included in a unity ticket. We should unite on the basis of a common vision of genuine reforms for the nation and not simply because of a common desire to win,” Pangilinan said in a text message.
San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito proposed over the weekend the creation of a “super senatorial ticket” composed of candidates from both the LP coalition and the UNA.
The UNA was formed by Ejercito’s father, former President Joseph Estrada, and Vice President Jejomar Binay to face off with the ruling party in next year’s polls.
Binay had earlier welcomed the possibility of coalescing with LP for a common senatorial slate.
In a separate statement, Ejercito said his proposed unity senatorial ticket will promote a “harmonious spirit between senatorial candidates, and to the country as a whole.”
“I don’t think the proposal was naïve since most members of the LP and the UNA have been taking a common platform for the interest of the Filipino people,” he said.
He added he did not come up with this idea to avoid competition in the 2013 polls, but to promote unity in the country.
House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II however said that an LP-UNA coalition will be “awkward” since UNA already assembled a full senatorial slate.
“Ang dami na nila e. How do you strike a balance, ‘di ba? Puno na sila, and then makikipag-coalition pa sa LP,” Gonzales said in a separate briefing.
He added that he believes the LP-NP-NPC coalition is already capable of fielding the winning senatorial ticket.
“Mahirap nang talunin itong mga ito. Whether we like it or not, may name recall na e,” he said.
Potential candidates of the LP-NP-NPC coalition include reelectionist Senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.
Other names that are being floated as possible senatorial bets of the LP-NP-NPC coalition are: former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) head Joel Villanueva, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara and Paolo Benigno Aquino, the President’s cousin.
UNA, meanwhile is planning to include the following candidates in its senatorial slate: Ejercito, former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, Zambales Rep. Milagros Magsaysay, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, whistleblower Joey de Venecia and incumbent Senator Gregorio Honasan. –KG, GMA News
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