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Chances for opposition unity dim—Maceda

‘Aquino not the rallying point’

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:07:00 09/09/2009

Filed Under: Inquirer Politics, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines ? Former Ambassador Ernesto Maceda said on Wednesday he saw no way for the anti-administration forces to field a common standard bearer and a unified slate in the 2010 national elections.

Maceda, one of the political leaders behind the comeback of former president Joseph Estrada, expressed doubt that Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III could rally the opposition forces behind him.

?If you?re thinking people will unite behind Noynoy Aquino? that is only possible if he rates No. 1 in the next survey or higher than Manny Villar,? Maceda said in a telephone interview.

?I doubt it,? he said.

Maceda made the remarks just a few hours after Aquino announced his intention to run for president in 2010.

?`Wag na natin ipilit `yang unity. Malabo na iyan (Let?s no longer insist on unity. Chances for that have dimmed),? Maceda said.

Maceda said that with Aquino joining the fray, voters would have to choose from among four to five potential standard-bearers among the anti-administration forces.

Estrada, since late 2007, has maintained that he himself would run for president if the opposition failed to field a common standard bearer.

Maceda said he couldn?t imagine the ?reform-minded? sector of the Liberal Party allowing Aquino to forming an alliance with other candidates.

?They?d never agree to Noynoy coalescing with traditional politicians,? Maceda said.

Maceda said that he could not see Senator Manuel Villar sliding down with the amount of money he has spent on his campaign and his consistently high ranking in the poll surveys.

?He might say, ?If you want unity, why don?t you unite behind me??? Maceda said of the billionaire former Senate President and expected standard-bearer of the Nacionalista Party.



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