The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- With its alliance with the Nacionalista Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition almost in the bag, the ruling Liberal Party may no longer need another partner for the 2013 elections, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said Tuesday.
There has been talk of fielding a “super senatorial slate” composed of LP and United Nationalist Alliance candidates.
UNA is the alliance of Vice Presidnet Jejomar Binay’s PDP-Laban and former President Joseph Estrada’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino.
“The LP needs the support of UNA for the administration of President Aquino, but politically I think LP, with NP and NPC is okay,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said it was “very awkward” for UNA to discuss a coalition with LP after originally announcing that it already has a full Senate slate.
“I find it awkward because when UNA spoke the first time, parang punong-puno na sila (it seemed they had a complete slate). How would you strike a balance na puno na sila then makikipag-coalesce pa sa LP (that they have a full slate then they want to coalesce with the LP)?” he told a news conference.
Gonzales said the LP is now in “advanced” talks with the NP of Senator Manuel Villar and the NPC, founded by businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, for the fielding of a “winnable” Senate slate.
Among the possible NP candidates are former Representative Cynthia Villar and Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.
Senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda and Gregorio Honasan are the possible NPC candidates. Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara, a member of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, will also likely be adopted by the NPC.
With only one member keen on running for the Senate -- Quezon Representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada III -- the LP might field candidates from party-list groups such as Risa Hontiveros of Akbayan and Joel Villanueva of the Citizen Battle Against Corruption, who is currently director general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
In a separate statement, San Juan Representative Juan Victor Estrada said the proposed super coalition between LP and UNA would not just be for the elections but to support the administration.
“It would be beneficial in the sense that it would promote a harmonious spirit between senatorial candidates, and to the country as a whole. I don’t think the proposal was naïve since most members of LP and UNA have been taking a common platform for the interest of the Filipino people since the dark days of GMA’s (former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) regime,” Ejercito, UNA spokesperson, said.
Reacting to a statement by Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda dismissing the coalition, Ejercito said he did not propose the super coalition “so we could avoid beating each other up in the elections.”
“Let me remind Lacierda that we are not an opposition party. The purpose was for unity’s sake since UNA has been supportive of the advocacies of the President, even before the 2010 elections and before the formation of our coalition,” he added.