Latest Stories

UNA warns Escudero, Legarda, Poe: Appear

By ,

Vice President Jejomar Binay INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The arrangement with three supposedly common senatorial candidates is falling apart and is shaping up as a love triangle headed for the rocks on Valentine’s Day.

After Sen. Francis Escudero snubbed the United Nationalist Alliance’s proclamation rally, Vice President Jejomar Binay said Wednesday the coalition would likely drop common candidates who could not keep a deal that they should join its campaign sorties.

Escudero did not only participate but also failed to send a representative to the UNA rally, unlike fellow common candidates Loren Legarda and Grace Poe.

With his absence, Escudero was shut out of the UNA gathering, with the party’s three kings Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former President Joseph Estrada not mentioning his name or endorsing him in their speeches. Escudero’s picture was not on the stage filled with posters of UNA’s senatorial candidates.

Asked by reporters if Escudero faced expulsion, Binay said, “It is likely.” Asked if this would likewise apply to Legarda and Poe, he said, “If we will look pitiful in the bargain, we won’t allow that.”

Binay, who acknowledged Escudero’s help in the vice presidential race in 2010 and remarked that he knew how to repay a debt of gratitude, said the agreement was that the common candidates would join not only rallies of the administration Team PNoy, but also UNA’s. So far, the three have been no-shows in UNA events.

Escudero told the Inquirer Wednesday during a Team PNoy stop in Batangas City that he was unaware he could send a representative to the UNA rally in Cebu.

“It was too late when I learned that one could send representatives,” he said. “It’s still rather early in the campaign. Sooner or later, we might find ourselves in the same place.”

Poe said she signed up earlier with Team PNoy, and while she was grateful to UNA, she could get herself to endorse its other candidates. “Having to endorse candidates is a personal thing for me.”

Not common, but adopted

Sen. Franklin Drilon, Team PNoy campaign manager, on Wednesday told reporters that Escudero, Legarda and Poe were simply “adopted” by UNA, shrugging off UNA’s claims that the three were common candidates of the two coalitions.

“They were handpicked by President Noynoy for his tuwid na daan (good governance) platform. It is clear that they were adopted and it is the privilege of UNA to adopt our candidates,” Drilon said.

Other UNA members were also unhappy with the Escudero snub.

“In our coming sorties, if they don’t join us, then probably UNA will make an assessment, a collective decision, whether to still include the three in the UNA,” said Zambales Rep. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay. “Action speaks louder than words,” said the UNA senatorial candidate.

“We in UNA are not selfish. We are not insecure. We are not immature. What is important to us is that if you say Team UNA, we follow each other very much. If they don’t give attention to us, we just move on. We cannot wait for them forever,” she said.

On Tuesday, the common candidates opted to join the Liberal Party’s proclamation rally in Manila, with Escudero even wearing the party’s trademark yellow color. Legarda sent her father, Antonio, who was celebrating his 80th birthday on Tuesday, to the UNA rally in Cebu, while Poe sent her son Brian and cousin actress Sheryl Cruz.

But in the subsequent Bohol sortie, none of the common candidates sent a representative.

A snub

UNA’s campaign manager Toby Tiangco said he rejected Escudero’s offer to send a video instead to the Cebu event. Tiangco disclosed that he even offered to move the time of its proclamation rally to 8 p.m. on Tuesday to allow the common candidates to make it to Cebu from Manila, but the candidates did not agree to this.

Estrada, who was the last to speak at Tuesday’s UNA rally, asked the people who had gathered at the Plaza Independencia to vote for the party’s candidates, naming all the candidates except Escudero.

“It appears that he snubbed us,” the former President later told the Inquirer in a phone interview. “He’s on top of the surveys so maybe he thinks he doesn’t need us anymore.”

Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, another senatorial candidate, also said he did not think it was right for Escudero to snub the proclamation rally.  “There is a sadness amongst the group,” he said, adding that UNA was still hoping they would show up in the bigger sorties of the group.

UNA’s senatorial candidate Miguel Zubiri said Escudero could have sent his girlfriend, actress Heart Evangelista, to represent him. “That would have been fabulous,” Zubiri said.—With a report from Christian V. Esguerra

Originally posted at 09:16 pm | Wednesday, February 13

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: campaign , Elections , Elections 2013 , Francis Escudero , Grace Poe , Loren Legarda , Philippines , Politics , Senate , Team PNoy , UNA , United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Mixed feelings for Gabriel Garcia Marquez in hometown
  • Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • Marketplace