MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday said that the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) has already finalized its senatorial slate for the 2013 polls.
In an interview with reporters after he gave his speech at the Liga ng mga Barangay National Convention in Pasay City, Binay said that UNA has decided to include Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Margarita Tingting Cojuangco in its senatorial slate.
“We are including him (Escudero) in the slate,” Binay said when asked about the status of the alliance’s talks with Escudero.
Binay also noted that he was 99.9 percent sure that Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco, aunt of President Benigno Aquino III, would be included in the ticket.
Cojuangco is the wife of UNA vice president and former congressman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr.
UNA is the new coalition formed between Binay’s PDP-Laban and former President Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.
During a press conference last Monday, UNA announced that Senator Loren Legarda had accepted the party’s invitation to run as a guest candidate for the senatorial slate.
Among those who earlier made it in the slate were Senators Gregorio Honasan, San Juan Representative JV Ejercito, Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce-Enrile Jr., former senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Ernesto Maceda and Richard Gordon, Zambales Rep. Milagros “Mitos’ Magsaysay and businessman Joey de Venecia.
Binay and Estrada had also said that Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chairman Grace Poe Llamanzares was already an “adopted candidate.”
Binay said that he was not bothered by reports that Legarda had talks with President Aquino, saying that Legarda would campaign with UNA.
“Legarda is UNA’s candidate. She will join UNA’s political activities,” Binay said.
Asked about the campaign arrangements for Escudero, Binay said that it would be like the arrangement for Llamanzares, who he had earlier described as an “exception to the rule.”
Escudero and Llamanzares had both been reported to be likely adopted by the Liberal Party (LP).
However, Binay noted that they would not force Llamanzares to join the campaign if she would not be allowed by the LP.
Llamanzares, in earlier reports, had noted that she had not yet received final instructions from Aquino.
Binay had also earlier announced that UNA candidates would be filing their certificates of candidacies on October 1, 1 p.m.