MANILA, Philippines — The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Tuesday clarified that it will not be hasty in dropping its three guest candidates for not appearing at their campaign rallies.
The coalition’s secretary general Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco said that former Senator Ernesto Maceda had been expressing his personal opinion when the senatorial candidate told reporters on Monday that UNA would be forced to drop guest candidates who would fail to show up at their sorties but appear at the Liberal Party’s rallies.
UNA and LP share Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda, and former MTRCB chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares as guest candidates.
The LP has told its guest candidates that they could not appear at UNA’s campaign rallies or advertisements if they want the endorsement of the ruling party.
He said that the official UNA position was that “we will not impose any conditions, unlike the LP.”
“If they want to join us in Cebu on February 12, they are most welcome,” he said.
UNA has chosen vote-rich Cebu as the location of their proclamation rally at the start of the campaign period.
Tiangco also found nothing wrong about the guest candidates appearing in the recently launched LP television advertisement, since they did not appear in UNA’s TV ad.
The guest candidates were left out of the ad to provide more airtime for UNA’s exclusive candidates, he explained. “If you divide sixty seconds by twelve candidates, then that means less airtime for our nine UNA exclusive candidates than if the sixty seconds was divided and used only for our nine exclusive candidates.”
“The truth is I even went to see two of the three common candidates to inform them, out of courtesy, that UNA will be shooting a TV ad, and they will not be included in those who will appear in the ad,” he said, adding that he could not take it against the guest candidates if they agreed to LP’s offer.
“It would have been a different story if UNA invited them and they declined and then they agreed to appear in the LP ad,” said the UNA official.