MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay appeared not too keen on the idea of joining forces with the Liberal Party (LP) for the 2022 elections, citing “wounds” that still need healing.
“May mga sugat na dapat munang gamutin bago kami mag usap tungkol sa 2022,” Binay said in a statement. She did not elaborate.
(There are wounds that still need to be healed before we can talk about 2022.)
It was during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III, then chairman of the ruling Liberal Party, when the Senate investigated corruption allegations against former Vice President Jejomar Binay and some of his family members. The probe started in 2014 and concluded in early 2016.
The older Binay later ran against LP presidential bet Mar Roxas in the 2016 elections, but both lost to then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
In an online interview with reporters Tuesday morning, Senator Francis Pangilinan, LP president, said the party is making efforts to reach out to prospective candidates such as Senators Binay, Panfilo Lacson and Joel Villanueva as well as Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno.
“We really need unity and we really need to come together to provide solutions dito sa mga pagsubok na hinaharap natin [to these problems we are facing],” Pangilinan said.
In March, Binay already said she will not run for higher office in 2022. Her term as a senator will expire in 2025.
Meanwhile, Lacson said he has always responded to the overture coming from the LP “with an open mind.”
“As far as the Liberal Party [is concerned], it is work in progress. I guess it’s the scheduling and other factors kaya hindi pa inuupuan [that’s why we can’t sit down on it] – until the 1Sambayan coalition emerged, with public pronouncements that tend to divide rather than unite,” the senator said in a statement.
For his part, Villanueva thanked Pangilinan, saying he is open to hold talks and coalesce with other groups, especially with bigger parties.
“Ito pong coalition talks, para sa ating partido sa CIBAC, hindi lang po ito pre-election ritual na pansamantalang alyansa ang resulta. Sa halip, ito po ay isang dynamic na proseso na tuloy-tuloy at nakabatay na rin sa shared goals and common vision,” Villanueva said.
“The reality is that no matter how big your party is, you never walk – or work – alone. It is always good to march with a lot of good people. That is how progress is made,” he added.
On the other hand, Moreno called any political and coalition talks “untimely and premature” after the LP president bared efforts to reach out to him.