A leader of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) on Saturday said the party was never committed to pushing the entire Team PNoy ticket, opting to campaign only for its own members and allies among Senate candidates.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, an NPC stalwart, was reacting to reports that the NPC was on the verge of withdrawing support for the Team PNoy slate over complaints of Sen. Loren Legarda, one of their members, that some members on the slate were the source of “black propaganda” about her alleged failure to declare her ownership of a New York condominium from 2007 to 2011.
“Our displeasure was only increased when the issue versus Loren (Legarda) came out,” Sotto told the Inquirer but clarified that from the very beginning, NPC never promised to push for a 12-0 Team PNoy victory.
Sotto said the NPC took this position because President Aquino’s slate pitted Liberal Party members against NPC incumbent officials in local and congressional district positions.
So when asked if the NPC would still campaign for the Team PNoy slate, Sotto said, “It was never that way for us.”
“So, no 12-0 for NPC from Day One,” he added.
“Aside from Loren, NPC [supports its members] Jack (Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile), Manong Ernie (former Senate President Ernesto Maceda) and guest Gringo (Sen. Gregorio Honasan),” Sotto said.
Enrile, Maceda and Honasan are running with Team PNoy’s rival coalition, the United Nationalist Alliance.
Reelectionist Legarda has topped almost all surveys but has recently come under fire for her alleged nondisclosure for several years of a pricey property in New York.
Legarda insisted she had dutifully complied with the law on statements of assets, liabilities and net worth with regard to the property. Her critic, Louis Biraogo, a self-styled public interest advocate, said he was not satisfied with her explanation and promised to bring the case to the Ombudsman.
Legarda blamed the negative publicity to a “smear campaign” she attributed to a fellow administration candidate, but she didn’t name the person.