MANILA, Philippines — The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) on Thursday maintained that it was not breaking away from the Liberal Party coalition.
NPC spokesperson and Valenzuela Representative Rex Gatchalian told reporters in a media forum that their agreement with LP “still stands.”
“We are not breaking away from the partnership agreement signed last year. It still stands,” he said, explaining that the party’s provincial chairman in Pangasinan Mark Cojuangco felt that his recent statement may have been “misinterpreted.”
“He said that he must have been misinterpreted… He never said that the partnership agreement was off,” Gatchalian said.
The NPC official explained that what Cojuangco said that as members of the same political party they were “duty bound” to support their own senatorial candidates.
Cojuangco has earlier told reporters that they would only be able to guarantee support for three candidates out of the 12 national bets of the LP coalition.
“When we decided to join LP, we looked at the reform agenda of the President, we did not look at the partnership simply for the purposes of the midterm elections,” said Gatchalian.
“We do not want our relationship with the LP to be tarnished because of the elections,” he added.
Talks between political parties engaged in LP’s coalition were ongoing to thresh out and resolve “operational issues”, he pointed out.
Gatchalian said that they were still discussing how to resolve issues with having several local candidates within the ruling coalition pitted against each other during the midterm elections.
“We still have to iron out some operational issues before the campaign period for the local candidates starts,” he said, explaining that while their agreement with the LP was “not perfect… these issues are not enough for us to break off (from the coalition).”
“There’s no perfect partnership but the commitment stands, you don’t just walk away from a partnership, you try to solve these things,” he said.