Team PNoy or UNA? Lines drawn in proclamation
MANILA, Philippines – Will the 3 common candidates join Team PNoy or the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)?
Campaign managers of the two slates said Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, and Grace Poe-Llamanzares will be forced to choose which proclamation rally to join on February 12.
The two slates will kick off the campaign period for national candidates with separate proclamation rallies in two different areas.
The administration ticket’s campaign manager Sen Franklin Drilon said the ruling Liberal Party (LP) will hold its rally in Manila. UNA campaign manager and secretary-general Navotas Rep Tobias “Toby” Tiangco said the opposition’s rally will be in vote-rich Cebu.
“It will inevitably be decided on February 12 because our rallies will take place at the same time,” Tiangco said in a face-off with Drilon on ANC Presents: Election Watch on Tuesday, January 29.
Tiangco told Rappler the UNA proclamation will be in Toledo City in Cebu. The LP will hold its rally in Plaza Miranda in Manila.
President Benigno Aquino III’s administration slate is composed of the LP, the Nacionalista Party of Sen Manny Villar, and the Nationalist People’s Coalition founded by Aquino's uncle and businessman Danding Cojuangco.
UNA is headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. It is composed of Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).
This early, Drilon already said the 3 common bets belong to the administration ticket known as Team PNoy, and will not be allowed to campaign with UNA.
“These 3 candidates are our candidates that were adopted by UNA. We thank UNA because they have adopted our candidates but they are basically the team of PNoy, the President.”
Asked what will happen if the 3 campaign with UNA, Drilon said, “Siguro I’ll just frown at them. Ano ba iyan?” (Maybe I’ll just frown at them. What’s that?)
‘Not putting them on the spot’
Tiangco said though that UNA will insist on equal treatment from the 3 bets. He has earlier criticized as harsh the LP’s prohibition on guest candidates from joining UNA events.
Even during the filing of certificates of candidacy in October, Legarda, Escudero and Poe joined the proclamation of the LP in Club Filipino, San Juan. They did not join the UNA candidates in filing their certificates of candidacy.
The 3 candidates also appeared only in the LP’s senatorial slate ad that began airing this week. They were not seen in UNA’s ad, with their names just listed at the end.
Tiangco said he explained to two of the guest candidates the alliance’s position.
“I said I hope they understand. If they appear on the ad, there will be less time for our 9 exclusive candidates. I openly said we will maximize the exposure of the 9.”
Tiangco said the common candidates are still free to join UNA’s sorties. Yet he admitted that the alliance does not invite them.
“We already know they will not be allowed [by LP] so why will we force them to join us? It’s like we’re putting them on the spot,” he said.
In an interview on Tuesday afternoon, Escudero said he has not received invitations to UNA events.
Escudero, an ally of both Aquino and Binay, again indicated that he is not inclined to choose between LP and UNA.
“Puso lang naman siguro ‘yung dapat ang may laman ng isa. Ang isip at nilalagay sa balota, 12 naman kami, hindi kailangang isa iyon,” said Escudero. (I think it’s only the heart that needs to choose one. The mind and what you put on the ballot, we are 12. It doesn’t have to be just one.)
‘Grace higher if she’s exclusive to UNA’
On Poe, Tiangco said she would have had gone up higher in the surveys had she decided to be an exclusive candidate of UNA.
Poe is the big winner in the Social Weather Stations’ January 2013 survey, jumping from rank 20 in December to 10-11.
The former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chairperson is the daughter of the late actor and 2004 presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ). Her father was a close friend of Estrada and Binay.
Tiangco said, “I have reasons to say that because it’s like the mother and father split up. The loyalists of FPJ support Erap and VP Binay but they are forced to choose because she is also with the other side. But if the parents did not split up, she would have gotten more votes.”
Drilon fired back, saying Tiangco’s remark was indicative of personality politics. - Rappler.com