MANILA, Philippines?The warring factions in Malacanang, the so-called ?LP-Balay? group and the ?Noybi? group, have allegedly fielded their own candidates for chairman in the Commission on Elections, a move seen by a senator as preparation for the 2013 and 2016 elections.
Senator Sergio Osmena III, an administration ally, revealed that one of the contenders for the post, lawyer Romulo Macalintal, was being pushed by the LP-Balay of defeated vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas III while another contender, Sixto Brillantes, was identified with the Noy-bi group.
The LP-Balay is composed of members of the Liberal Party who supported the candidacy of Roxas during the last May elections while Noy-bi group is identified with Vice President Jejomar ?Jojo? Binay and those who supported him and President Aquino.
?Put it this way, the LP camp is the one sponsoring Romy Macalintal,? Osmena said at a press conference in the Senate on Wednesday.
Asked why the LP would push for Macalintal, who was an election lawyer of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the senator said, ?Well I think he also became the lawyer of Mar.?
?I don't know, I've never been to Malacañang for six months but yes it looks like this is one of the moves of the LP [group] to make sure that they are not disadvantaged in the coming elections,? he said when asked if there was power struggle in the choice of Comelec chair.
?When you are thinking about party, yes there?s a connection to 2013 because the party would want to win more congressional seats, more senatorial seats, more governors, and mayors so this is a party -building type for the LP and you can?t blame them. It?s a natural thing in politics,? he said.
Meanwhile, Osmeña believes that Brillantes was being backed by the Noybi group after he allegedly supported Binay?s bid last elections.
?I think Boy Brillantes supported Noybi and therefore I think the LP does not want a Noybi lawyer to head the Comelec looking ahead to 2016 or probably 2013,? said the senator.