Common candidates, be warned: Joining the rallies of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) could get you the cold shoulder from President Aquino.
Acting Liberal Party (LP) president and Transportation Secretary Joseph E.A. Abaya issued this warning to LP candidates Grace Poe-Llamanzares and Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, who had also been adopted by the UNA.
Abaya reminded the three that the LP policy asking them to skip the rallies of other political parties still stood.
“That has been made clear, in fact, before the list (of LP candidates) was finalized,” the transportation chief said, adding that President Aquino, the LP chair, himself had spoken to the three candidates individually on the matter.
“And I think of their own volition they will follow,” Abaya said, adding that a breach of the policy could mean the cold treatment from Mr. Aquino.
“I think just the fact that you’re distanced from the President after such a violation is enough penalty for you given (his) good trust ratings and the clear reforms that he has been undertaking. Thus, the other side is actually trying to get close to the President,” Abaya said.
He said the LP coalition would also make a distinction between the administration’s “tuwid na daan” (straight path) and the opposition’s “own path” during the campaign.
“It will be part of our campaign, too, if this is not confidential information, to distinguish between our slate and their slate, and eventually it will be apparent. We will make it apparent that there’s a clear difference (between) our slate and their slate. Amin ang tuwid na daan, kanila yung kanyang daan (Ours is the right path, theirs is their own path,” he said, drawing laughter.
Stung by claims by some UNA officials that candidates faring well in the surveys were not “full-blooded” LP members, Abaya said it was the party’s call to describe who was “true-blooded, half-blooded, or quarter-blooded.”
“That is our call, that is our decision, that is our backyard,” he said in reaction to UNA official Tobias Tiangco’s statement.
Abaya also said that the political ads of the President’s cousin, Paulo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, were not sanctioned by the party.