Liberal Party (LP) officials on Monday said they foresaw issues arising from the administration’s decision to field or support local candidates facing rivals belonging to its coalition with other parties.
“When we signed the coalition, we were conscious of the fact that we cannot be perfect at the local level. We cannot solve everything. We realize there would be local issues in the local contests that would be out there,” Sen. Franklin Drilon, LP general campaign manager, told reporters in a news conference.
In one major city in the Visayas, for example, Drilon said the LP is supporting the candidates for congressman, mayor and vice mayor in a common slate of the LP and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
“But when it comes to the candidates for councilor, each of the LP, NPC and Nacionalista Party (NP) has its own candidates so we declared the area a free zone, as far as candidates for councilor are concerned,” he pointed out.
Aurora Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara stressed in the same forum that the Team PNoy coalition is holding for the senatorial candidates of the LP, NP and NPC. Angara is one of the candidates. “There’s never a perfect congruence for the local bets,” he said.
It was the NPC’s Sen. Tito Sotto who cried foul over the LP’s decision to field candidates against NPC incumbents seeking reelection at the local level.
The NPC expected the LP to support its member, Pangasinan
Gov. Amado Espino, who is seeking reelection. Sotto said the NPC was surprised to learn that the LP would be supporting Alaminos Mayor Hernani Braganza, a known supporter of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who switched to the LP from Lakas.
Sotto said the NPC also smarted from the LP’s decision to back an Aksyon Demokratiko candidate for governor in Isabela instead of the NPC’s incumbent Gov. Faustino Dy.