Casiño won’t join UNA, to remain independent
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño said he would remain an independent candidate despite earlier reports that the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) was considering adopting him after dropping its three guest candidates.
Casiño, who is running for senator under the Makabayan coalition, said he would not join UNA but he could work with the group in pushing their common platforms, especially those that would benefit the poor.
He clarified that UNA did not send any letter endorsing his candidacy. “It only floated in media. But we will stick to our original plan that I will be an alternative candidate. For the first two weeks of the campaign, I became more convinced that my decision was right,” Casiño told reporters here on Sunday.
Casiño watched the Baguio Flower Festival float parade here on Sunday and was guest in the leaders’ assembly of the party-list group Katribu.
Asked how he took reports of the possibility of endorsement from UNA, Casiño said: “There is this realization that as an independent candidate, [I am seen] as one of the stronger candidates, otherwise, my name would not be floated. Am I flattered? Not really.”
Casiño said he would work with UNA only if they would agree to push programs that would improve the living conditions of ordinary Filipinos.
In his Twitter account, Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. called the attention of Casiño and senatorial candidates Risa Hontiveros, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara and Edward Hagedorn for allegedly violating rules on the proper posting and size of election materials.
Casiño acknowledged that the posting of his campaign materials in prohibited areas had become a problem but he said he appreciated the effort of his volunteers and supporters.
“There are so many people who keep asking us for campaign materials, like posters and tarpaulin streamers. However, they do not know the Comelec guidelines [on posting] and they tend to post it anywhere… This is a problem when you rely on volunteers, but we always try to remind them about the guidelines,” he said.