LP, UNA super coalition proposedBy Gil C. Cabacungan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
With no real opposition coming forward to challenge his administration in the 2013 midterm elections, should President Benigno Aquino assemble a senatorial ticket that shall run unopposed?
San Juan City Representative Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito raised this possibility, explaining that forming a “super senatorial slate” between the Liberal Party coalition and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) would be the best scenario for Mr. Aquino, who has maintained his popularity two years after assuming office.
“It will be ideal since there is no clear-cut line between the opposition and the administration unlike during Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s time in 2007,” said Ejercito, son of former President Joseph Estrada who formed UNA with Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Ejercito refused to comment on talk that UNA had offered to strike an alliance with the LP coalition with a 5-7 or 4-8 ticket-sharing in favor of the LP and its allies.
But forming a super ticket composed of the LP and its prospective partners—the Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino and Akbayan—and UNA’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) will be easier said than done, according to Ejercito.
“While we support the administration, we are unwanted by the LP. We likewise want to serve and no one has a monopoly on who is deserving,” said Ejercito.
Mr. Aquino is a personal friend and political ally of UNA’s primary movers Binay, Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. However, LP president Manuel Roxas, who narrowly lost the vice presidential elections in 2010, has not given up on his electoral protest against Binay.
Cavite Representative Joseph E. A. Abaya, LP secretary general, said the LP leadership welcomed the idea although it would still have to decide on the matter.
“Honestly, without even considering party principles and future political interests, the LP leadership is already challenged by the number of like-minded principled candidates on its long list of senatorial bets. An obvious implication of a coalition with UNA is to further strip down our list such as convincing potential candidates not to run when they are qualified to do so,” said Abaya.
“Of course, having control of the Senate is important for the governance of the President. However, more choices of candidates for the people is essential to a healthy democracy. At the end of the day, the top leadership of the LP will decide on this considering the short-, medium- and long-term goals of the party vis-a-vis the party’s service to country and people,” said Abaya.