UNA slams door on other parties


Former President Joseph Estrada INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) has closed the door on other political parties that may want to join the coalition for next year’s midterm elections.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile Sunday said the coalition’s national directorate had decided to keep the alliance strictly between the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to avoid local level in-fighting.

“That’s final,” Enrile said in a radio interview.

The PMP is led by movie star and former President Joseph Estrada, while PDP-Laban is headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Aquilino Pimentel III.

Enrile, a senior leader of the PMP, said coalition officials arrived at the decision to avoid any possibility of alliance partners battling it out in the local elections.

“If you would have all parties under the umbrella of UNA, they will be fighting it out down below because you cannot control the members of the respective parties at the local level from putting up their respective candidates,” he said in Filipino.

This was apparently the case with the previous alliance between the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Kalipunan ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) party. Even a tedious arbitration process failed to resolve a number of deeply-rooted conflicts at the local level.

“In order to serve the national interest and the people, [we decided] to limit the alliance to PDP-Laban and PMP,” said Enrile, whose son, Rep. Jack Enrile, is eyeing a slot in UNA’s senatorial lineup.

Not a family affair

Enrile defended his son’s possible inclusion in the ticket, given the possibility that a Jack Enrile victory would mean a father-and-son tandem in the same chamber in the next Congress. The father’s six-year term will not end until 2016.

Enrile rejected the idea of a “family affair” dominating Philippine politics. At present, siblings Pia Cayetano and Alan Peter Cayetano are both senators, he pointed out. They emerged on the national political scene apparently on the strength of the name of their late father, Sen. Renato Cayetano.

“I’m not the one who will decide whether or not he will become a senator of the country. It’s the people that will decide,” Enrile said, adding that critics of his family should enter politics and “raise the issue.”

“Nobody is preventing them from running, but why prevent somebody simply because he happens to be my son, [why] deprive the country of the services of somebody simply because he is related to somebody in government?” he said.

If his son wins, Enrile said he would “slow down” in politics, especially given his age.

“I will help him but my presence in the national scene will be toned down,” he said. “I have accepted the fact that I am already far advanced in time. I will accompany him in the last three years of my term. I will not run again.”

But before officially joining UNA, he said Jack would first seek the blessings of businessman Eduardo Cojuangco of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, of which is he a member, according to his father.

“Pupuntahan niya si Tito Danding niya at magpapaalam [He will go to his Uncle Danding and ask permission to leave],” the elder Enrile said.

The UNA coalition is expected to clash head on with the ruling Liberal Party-led coalition of President Benigno Aquino III in next year’s legislative and local elections. Binay is expected to be its standard bearer in the presidential race in 2016.

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  • Atagalong

    Senator Enrile said  that ” why deprive the country of the services of somebody simply because he/she is related to somebody in the government?” How convenient! Why can’t people see that politics in the Philippines is controlled by influential families, dynasties and oligarchs. Not only that brothers and sisters and husbands,wives, fathers and sons, children, even mistresses and children born out of wedlock are serving! Wow! The worse part is that, except for a token of one or two from the Visayas and Mindanao they are all families of the North, the Island of Luzon! The people from the Visayas and Mindanao are deprived of representation from their own places because of the continuous stranglehold by same old, same old political dynasties of the North. A coalition is a convenient way to continue such a stranglehold by the North. Why can’t the Visayas and Mindanao people form their own UNA, a Visayas/Mindanao coalition?  People down there should not be contented with the same  families controlling the local government. Run as an independent without money: just put you name as a candidate for the position as senator. Soon people will get used to it – voting for the right person without prostituting themselves of P500.00 or P1,000,00 dole. 

  • Loggnat

    How can a person convicted of stealing people’s money while serving as the president of the country still eligible to run for public office? $tup1d is what a $tup1d does. The law that allows it is just plain $tup1d. Nobody have questioned that law and I guest nobody cares.

    • ApoLapullapu

      The pardon extended to Erap by GMA is absolute.  So, all his rights as a Citizen have been restored.

      But the UNA is correct.  They should limit the coalition.  Opportunists are just waiting to jump into the bandwagon. Anyway local politicians are not really after the victory of thier national party-mates or partners in the coalition. They are just looking up on who can beef up their own campaign funds.

      • Loggnat

        Absolute pardon does not mean that the crime never happened and nobody or any political party will benefit by being in the company of a known thief and a corrupt politician. No voter in his right mind will vote for a corrupt politician (even with absolute pardon) and anybody allied with him. But that is in a normal country and the Philippines had proven that it is far from normal when Estrada was voted second to the winning candidate for president. I guess it is more fun voting corrupt politician in the Philippines. The concept of what is right and wrong is ignored specially when money is being passed around during election, I guess. But I still hope against hope that the majority of the people are actually voting according to their conscience. And that the votes garnered by those corrupt candidates are because they found ways to cheat during the elections. The Filipinos and the nation deserves better leaders and I hope that the new generation of politicians keeps getting better in each succeeding generation. That their decisions will be for the betterment of the people and the progress of the nation. Amen.

      • ApoLapullapu

        The people deserve the kind of officials they elect.

  • Yxon

    o, sa lahat na magnanakaw dyan….kung hindi kayo nakaabot ng deadline,  gawa na lang kayo sariling party nyo …IKALAWA

  • Yxon


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Lynel-F-Joven/685946584 Charles Lynel F. Joven

    Binay for prez/..are we pinoy’s so dumb na ba? this guy’s goat a oending graft case, and he still has to explain why a large amount of cash is still missing from Makati’s coffers…Binay’s the epitomy of a corrupt state..

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