Liberal Party: Still no to coalitionBy Michael Lim Ubac, Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A top Liberal Party leader on Tuesday dismissed the proposed “super coalition” for the 2013 senatorial elections between the ruling party and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) being floated by San Juan Representative JV Ejercito.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, one of the LP’s three officials, added his voice to that of Malacañang in rebuffing the idea of a coalition between the LP and the UNA of Vice President Jejomar Binay and deposed President Joseph Estrada.
“One condition that the President imposed on those seeking to run under the administration Senate slate is: ‘They can only stand on the administration stage,’” he said.
Abad reiterated the ruling party’s position that in drawing up its senatorial slate, it would not adopt common candidates, a political arrangement which allows candidates to run in both the administration and opposition slates.
He clarified, however, that the administration was not saying that those seeking inclusion in the LP senatorial slate should sever ties with nonadministration allies.
“So it’s possible for an administration candidate to be adopted by other groups, but he can only campaign for and with the administration slate,” Abad said.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, another LP leader, observed that some political sectors critical of the administration may be trying to throw a monkey wrench into the selection process for the LP senatorial candidates.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, who earlier sneeringly dismissed Ejercito’s super coalition idea, on Tuesday said it would not be possible because of “philosophical differences” with the UNA.
Lacierda said there were fundamental differences between the UNA and the administration coalition now being worked out among President Aquino’s LP, and erstwhile opposing Nacionalista Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
“There are some members of their slate who are in continuous opposition to the policies of the Aquino administration. You’ve got fundamental policy differences,” Lacierda told a news briefing.
The differences were “quite visible for everyone to see,” he said.
“Those are the difficulties that they have right now. The LP has already come up with a coalition [with the NP and the NPC],” Lacierda said.
He said the idea of a coalition with UNA has already been discussed with Mr. Aquino but did not give a categorical answer when asked if Mr. Aquino was open to forming a coalition with the Estrada-Binay group.