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Eleksyon 2013

Abaya: LP bets in UNA sorties risk being 'distanced' from PNoy

January 21, 2013 8:44pm
The administration's senatorial candidates for the May elections who are also part of the opposition coalition's ticket may have a falling out with President Benigno Aquino III if they appear on opposition sorties, a ranking official of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) said Monday.

At a press briefing in Malacañang, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said this was relayed to the candidates by Aquino himself when he spoke with them regarding the guidelines in the campaign even before the senatorial list was finalized.

Asked on what penalty awaits candidates who would join opposition sorties, Abaya said: “I think being distanced or portrayed to have fallen out from the president’s good graces is enough penalty.”

“I think just the fact that you’re distanced from the President after such violation is enough penalty for you given the good trust ratings of the president and the clear reforms that he has been doing,” added Abaya, LP's executive vice president.

Re-electionist Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, as well as former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares, are common candidates of both the LP-led coalition and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph Estrada.

The three had committed to exclusively join the administration coalition during campaigns.

The administration slate also includes Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Aquilino Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes IV; former senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Jamby Madrigal; Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara; former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar; former Akbayan party-list Rep. Rissa Hontiveros; and the President’s cousin, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.

UNA's senatorial candidates, meanwhile, are re-electionist Senator Gregorio Honasan, former senators Ernesto Maceda, Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri, San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, former Tarlac governor Margarita "Tingting" Cojuangco and Nancy Binay.

For the May elections, Abaya said the administration will be reviving the LP's “Tuwid na Daan (straight path)” campaign slogan, which was first used by Aquino in the 2010 elections. He said the slogan will help distinguish them from UNA.

“We will make it apparent that there’s a clear difference [between] our slate and their slate. Amin ang 'tuwid na daan,' kanila ‘yung kanyang daan,” Abaya said.

Abaya said they have yet to present to Aquino, LP's chairman, the storyboard for the coalition's campaign advertisement.

“We still have to clear because the president wants to know... if he’s going to participate in an ad, he’s also comfortable with it. Because he’s a very transparent person and, if he’s not in agreement, it will show in his facial expression [that] he’s not too keen on it,” he said.

Abaya said the individiual LP candidates could produce their own ad and go about their respective advocacies. Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News
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