‘Liberal Party intrigue’: Will the real Magsaysay please stand up?By Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Senator Franklin Drilon on Thursday announced the candidacy of former Senator Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay Jr. under the Liberal Party (LP) ticket, saying the administration party was fielding the “real” Magsaysay.
Drilon’s comment was seen as an attack on Zambales Reprsentative Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay, who earlier announced that she was running in next year’s senatorial race under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“The real Magsaysay, our candidate, is Ramon Magsaysay Jr.,” Drilon said in the weekly Kapihan sa Senado media forum.
But Drilon backtracked when asked whether he was indicating that the Zambales representative was not a “real” Magsaysay. “I’m not saying that. You’re sowing intrigue,” he told one reporter in jest.
According to Drilon, the congresswoman is married to the son of former Zambales Governor Vic Magsaysay, while the 74-year-old LP candidate is the son of former President Ramon Magsaysay who died in a plane crash in 1957.
“The true Magsaysay is tested. Magsaysay is my guy,” he said, echoing the campaign slogan of one of the country’s most loved President.
Mitos Magsaysay hit back when told about Drilon’s attacks.
“The mere fact that they’re trying to get Jun Magsaysay to run shows that the Liberals are insecure about my candidacy,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a phone interview. “But my question is: Has he agreed to run? Until I heard it straight from him, it remains a Liberal Party intrigue.”
The congresswoman said she had no problem running against a fellow Magsaysay in 2013. “Both of us are qualified and accomplished,” she said.
Roxas to stay in Cabinet
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, a senior leader of UNA, downplayed the issue of a “real” or “fake” Magsaysay.
“I don’t know if there is a fake Magsaysay and a real Magsaysay. All I know is if it’s a Magsaysay, it’s a Magsaysay,” he said in Filipino in an ambush interview.
Drilon said the LP was still completing its senatorial slate. But this early, he confirmed that Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II—who lost to Binay in the 2010 elections—would not join the race.
“Roxas will stay in the Cabinet,” he said.
So far, Drilon said the LP lineup included Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, and former Representatives Joel Villanueva, Risa Hontiveros, and Rufino Biazon.
Drilon said the slate would also include three incumbent senators, but declined to name them.
Asked if the LP would field a full senatorial slate, Drilon said his party would be open to coalitions.
“There are a lot of talents in this country. We will have coalitions,” he said. “(But) personally, I am not in favor of guest candidates. It’s either they are with us or (not with us).”
Drilon described UNA as “formidable” consisting of “very qualified people.”
Originally posted at 04:26 pm | Thursday, June 28, 2012