MANILA, Philippines — “Don’t leave us hanging.”
This was the message of the United Nationalist Alliance to the three senatorial bets they shared with the Liberal Party on Thursday, as the nagging question which coalition the trio would favor more surfaced during the first week of the campaign period.
“If we are not important to them, then they should say so and not leave us hanging….” said UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco in a statement.
No firm commitment
He said common candidates senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda, and former MTRCB chief Grace Poe-Llamanzares have yet to make a firm commitment to join UNA sorties and rallies.
“Parang dalawa kayong nanliligaw, at yung nililigawan pumayag makipag-date sa dalawa. OK lang naman sa iyo. Pero biglang sasabihin, sorry pero sa Valentine’s Day doon muna ako sa isa makipag-date. Pwede bang proxy ko na lang ang makipag-date sa ’yo?” asked Tiangco.
(It’s like there are two suitors, and woman agreed to date both. That’s fine to you. But when the woman suddenly says sorry I have to date the other guy on Valentine’s Day. Can I just send a proxy as your date?)
“Ayaw nilang sumama sa amin, pero palagi nilang kinakausap ang mga leaders namin. May hangganan din naman ito,” he said.
(They don’t like to join us, but they’re always talking to our leaders. There’s a limit when it comes to this.)
Tiangco said that the agreement for the guest candidates’ proxy to attend in their behalf has been agreed in the case of Legarda and Llamanzares.
But for Escudero, who did not send a representative, Tiangco said it was “basic etiquette, respect and courtesy dictate that if you cannot make it to an important event where you are expected to attend, you should send a proxy. The one who invited you need not request for a proxy. He could have sent his mother who is a candidate in the district of his late father.”
“If Loren can send her 80-year-old father, why can’t Chiz send his mother?” the UNA official asked.
Best of both worlds
Tiangco said that the guest candidates cannot have the “best of both worlds. It’s unfair to us, especially our solid UNA candidates who are campaigning hard in the provinces.”
“Yung siyam naming kandidato nagbibilad sa araw para makausap ang mga tao (The nine candidates are enduring the blistering sun just to have a chat with the people),” he added, urging the guest candidates to make up their minds on whether they will campaign exclusively with the LP.
He said that UNA had given leeway for the candidates, with the coalition’s leaders coming to an understanding with Llamanzares and Legarda that they would attend future sorties.
There was even an option offered to the guest candidates for the proclamation rally in Cebu to begin at 8 p.m. so they would have enough time to catch a plane to Cebu, Tiangco revealed.
“But their recent statements and actions have left UNA no recourse but to ask them to make a public commitment to join UNA events,” he said.