Ejercito: LP members support UNA bets out of long-term friendships
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Personal friendships are stronger than politics, which is why the Liberal Party would be hard put to prevent some of its members from supporting candidates from the rival United Nationalist Alliance, according to senatorial candidate Joseph Victor Ejercito.
“They should not take it against these people from bringing or supporting other candidates other than LP because there are personal ties involved, longtime personal friendships,” Ejercito said.
Ejercito also noted that many of the LP members were newcomers to the party anyway.
“The real LP would have fit into a Volkswagen,” he said.
According to him, said friendships are stronger than political affiliations, which may change.
Ejercito might not have heard of Albay Governor Joey Salceda’s denial of reports that he had endorsed UNA senatorial bet Nancy Binay, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, because he had cited Salceda’s alleged endorsement as an example of an LP supporting an UNA member on the basis of long-term ties.
Salceda, the LP head in Bicol, has received flak from Team PNoy senatorial candidates after he was reported to have declared that the latter’s 12-0 goal in the polls was not going to happen, and to have said that he was supporting UNA candidates Ejercito, Jack Enrile, and Nancy Binay.
“Whatever [Salceda’s] political color, we regard each other as friends,” he said.
Salceda has strongly denied that he had endorsed Nancy Binay, saying he just showed hospitality to the Binays during their visit in Albay.
But Ejercito indicated there were other cases of LP members supporting UNA candidates, saying the LP could not afford to antagonize all of its officials who would show support for UNA, including Salceda.
Salceda is unopposed in his re-election bid as the governor of Albay, which has about 720,000 registered voters.
“I don’t think they can afford to lose or to make an enemy out of Joey Salceda. It’s great to be his ally, but it’s difficult to be his enemy,” Ejercito said.
If ever LP did pick a fight with Salceda, it would only be to UNA’s advantage, he added.
But aside from personal friendships between politicians, other reasons have also cropped up for LP allies to junk its senatorial candidates.
LP’s local candidates have also been feuding with the local bets of its partner, the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
This rivalry has resulted in NPC’s local candidates deciding to support UNA’s senatorial bets, according to the NPC’s Senator Vicente Sotto III.
The LP and the NPC earlier teamed up to support a common senatorial slate, but it was a different matter when it came to local politics. LP fielded candidates against incumbent NPC officials, despite the “equity of the incumbent” rule, Sotto had said.
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