UNA expected to name more senatorial betsBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines – Leaders of the United Alliance (UNA) are set to meet this Monday and expected to name its second batch of candidates for next year’s senatorial election.
The second batch of UNA senatorial bets will likely include former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Zambales Representative Milgaros “Mitos” Magsaysay and Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, sources told INQUIRER.net.
UNA has so far named Senator Gregorio Honasan II, Cagayan Representative Juan Ponce-Enrile Jr., San Juan Representative Joseph Victor Ejercito, Jose de Venecia III and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to its line-up.
Expected at Monday’s meeting of UNA were Vice President Jejomar Binay, Enrile, former President Joseph Estrada, and other officials of the group.
On the agenda of the meeting, sources said, were the guidelines on selection of local candidates, consideration of partylist groups that expressed intention to join the coalition, and the list of the second batch of candidates for the 2013 senatorial election.
Sources quickly clarified that the meeting was not called because of the conflict between Pimentel and Zubiri.
The two had been at odds when Pimentel contested Zubiri’s victory in 2007, which prompted the Zamboanga legislator to resign from the Senate last year.
And when Zubiri joined Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), Pimentel publicly opposed the his inclusion in the UNA ticket.
“[The meeting] was not called because of Koko-Migz issue. It’s just one of several items in the agenda,” said sources.
After the meeting, the sources said UNA might announce the second batch of its senatorial bets.
“Most likely Governor Gwen, Mitos and Migz,” said the sources.
“Unless the elders decide to give Koko one last chance to change his mind,” the sources added, referring to reports that Pimentel might just join the administration ticket led by the Liberal Party of President Benigno Aquino III.