LP tells candidates to skips rallies of parties that ‘adopted’ themBy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—As politicians and their parties prepare for Monday’s filing of the certificates of candidacy for the 2013 elections, the ruling coalition has made one thing clear to “common candidates”: Skip the rallies of the rival United Nationalist Alliance.
The Liberal Party is open to some candidates’ adoption by UNA, but poses strong objections to their appearance in the latter’s campaign rallies, party stalwarts said.
“They could be adopted by UNA, but they should not join the rallies of UNA. That would be crossing the line,” a ranking party leader, who asked not to be named lest he offend certain individuals, said by phone. “I don’t think there will be a relaxation of the rules.’’
Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, and Grace Poe-Llamanzares of the Movie Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) have emerged as common candidates of the ruling coalition and the UNA.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who announced Saturday he’s taking a leave of absence as LP president from Monday, spelled out the kind of challenge facing the common candidates.
“You should ask the candidates: If they’re guests, which house? There are guests. If you’re a guest, then where is your house? Where do you stand?” Roxas told reporters after taking his oath as interior secretary before President Benigno Aquino at Malacañang’s Reception Hall. “If I were the voter, I’d ask that question.”
The situation, he said, was “a reflection more on the candidate, rather than part” after all, the party’s position during Aquino’s presidency has been clear.
Apart from the three, the President is set to proclaim Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Aquilino Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes IV Jr.; former Senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Jamby Madrigal; Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara; former Las Piñas Representative Cynthia Villar, former Akbayan Representative Rissa Hontiveros, and his cousin Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV as the ruling coalition’s senatorial candidates at Club Filipino in San Juan on Monday.
Only Magsaysay, Madrigal and Bam Aquino are members of the LP. The rest are members of LP’s coalition partners, the Nacionalista Party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition, PDP-Laban and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP). Escudero and Llamanzares are independent candidates.
Except for Bam Aquino and Llamanzares, daughter of the late action movie star Fernando Poe Jr., the rest have years of political experience under their belt.
Next year’s mid-term elections are seen as a test run for the 2016 presidential election.
Legarda, who had a talk with the President last Thursday, expressed her desire to attend the rallies of both the ruling coalition and UNA, but was told to show up only at the administration rallies, according to another LP official.
“The President didn’t want her to attend the other party’s rallies,” said the official, who also asked not to be named. He could not say what the final arrangement with Legarda was.
According to the same official, Llamanzares has indicated she would not attend the rallies of UNA, which is adopting her.
When asked if he would share the stage with Escudero, Roxas Replied: “I’m not a candidate. So I will be presiding over the DILG side and in short, I will perform my job as DILG secretary and as a member of the Cabinet. Campaign and politics are a candidate’s relationship with the Filipino people.’’
Escudero reportedly endorsed the Aquino-Jejomar Binay team in the May 2010 elections. Roxas, Aquino’s running mate, lost to Binay in the vice presidential race.
“It’s people from different places, parties and histories coming together to support the President’s vision for the country,” Strategic Communication Secretary Ricky Carandang said of the make-up of the administration ticket. “Our senatorial lineup has chosen to walk the path of the President.”
While 10 of the candidates are veteran politicians and only two are new in politics, Carandang said: “We are offering the voters a choice: to continue with what President Aquino is doing through good governance or to return to the transactional self-serving politics of the past.”