Alfredo Lim’s ‘junked’ running mate warns him of LP punishment
Manila Rep. Benjamin Asilo is not backing out from the vice mayoralty race and even has a warning for Alfredo Lim, the mayoral candidate who junked him last week in favor of Councilor Ali Atienza.
“It’s Lim who has a problem to face here, as he could be sanctioned by the LP (Liberal Party),” Asilo said of the former Manila mayor who is seeking a comeback in the May 9 polls. The congressman of Manila’s first district faced reporters on Wednesday to deny that he has withdrawn from the race.
On April 28, Lim announced that he would ask Asilo to step aside for Atienza, citing the latter’s supposedly higher chances of winning and a clamor for a Lim-Atienza team-up.
Ali Atienza is the running mate of another mayoral candidate, Rep. Amado Bagatsing, who like Lim seeks to unseat the reelectionist mayor, Joseph Estrada. He is the son of former Manila mayor and now Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza.
Asilo said he believed Lim and the Atienzas decided to join forces to “protect the interests” of their benefactors and chosen contractors. “They agree on certain things. One is on the Pandacan oil depot.
Atienza allowed the oil companies to stay—I fought against this as a councilor and the case (for expulsion) won in the Supreme Court. When Lim became mayor, he signed a new ordinance to negate the ordinance upholding the SC decision, allowing the oil companies to stay.”
“With the garbage collection, P1.2 billion of the city’s P14 billion budget was allotted just for this. Who was the contractor? There was just one during both their terms,” he added, referring to trash hauler Leonel Waste Management.
In a message to Ali Atienza, Asilo said: “You’re supposed to be a leader. All leaders are supposed to take a stand [on issues]. You can’t be someone’s proxy, even if it’s your dad.”
In the same press conference, LP legal counsel Myra Villarica said the ruling party’s constitution and bylaws state that “it would be a major breach to violate any decision made by the party. And what would be a more major decision for the party than its choice of candidates?”
“So if a member suddenly decides to support another candidate, and especially one from another party, that is a major breach of the party’s rules, and could certainly earn them sanctions ranging from a reprimand to suspension, even expulsion,” Villarica said.
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