IBA, Zambales — Vice President Jejomar Binay’s political coalition has dropped Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda, and Grace Poe-Llamanzares from its senatorial ticket, the party’s campaign manager said here Thursday.
Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said the coalition was “no longer obligated to include” the three candidates in its slate.
“It is clear that they have made up their minds. We need to move on,” he said in a statement.
“We have held on to their assurances that they will join us sooner or later. Unfortunately, none of them have taken any concrete move or extended any meaningful gesture to assure us that they will live up to their commitments.”
“We would have wanted and were looking forward to having them join our nine UNA candidates in our rallies and sorties,” he said.
The party has ” tried our best to acommodate them,” said Tiangco.
He criticized one of the three who made “public statements… ruling out participation in UNA events.”
None of the three candidates has appeared in any of UNA’s campaign sorties, including its proclamation rally in Cebu.
Tiangco has likened their relationship with their then shared candidates to be “parang dalawa kayong nanliligaw, at yung nililigawan pumayag makipag-date sa dalawa.”
“Okay 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?” he said.
Legarda and Llamanzares have consistently sent representatives to UNA’s sorties but the coalition has lambasted Escudero’s failure to do so.
In an earlier statement, Tiangco questioned why Escudero could not send a proxy as dictated by “basic etiquette, respect and courtesy.”
The campaign trail is on its second week and UNA is on its fourth campaign rally, its first being the proclamation rally in Cebu, followed by a sortie in Bohol.
This week, UNA has visited Pampanga and is making its way to hold sorties in Zambales on Thursday and Bataan on Friday.
UNA senatorial candidate Nancy Binay said she would personally give the then common candidates until the end of February but the coalition put its foot down before the end of the week.