GMA’s party not aligning with Binay

Lakas-CMD Spokesperson Raul Lambino denies reports that Arroyo's party is supporting the UNA senatorial ticket in 2013
NO ALLIANCE. Lakas-CMD Spokesperson Raul Lambino says the party has not forged an alliance with VP Binay's UNA. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Is there an alliance between the political parties of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Vice President Jejomar Binay?

The spokesperson of Lakas-CMD said that there is none, at least for now. 

Lawyer Raul Lambino issued a statement denying reports that Arroyo’s party is supporting the 2013 senatorial bets of Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

“While there are proposals from party members to coalesce with UNA for the 2013 polls, they remain just that, mere proposals,” said Lambino, who was also a spokesperson for Arroyo.   

Lambino was reacting to a statement of House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep Danilo Suarez to the Philippine Star that Lakas will support the UNA senatorial ticket.

Lambino clarified that there are also proposals for Lakas to support the senatorial lineup of other parties. Another option is to choose which candidates from the different slates Lakas will campaign for. 

Lambino said Lakas will only finalize plans for the 2013 polls during its national council meeting in May.

The only finality, Lambino said, is that Lakas will “go all out” in supporting Zambales Rep Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay of the House minority.

Magsaysay is being eyed as an UNA senatorial bet.

UNA is a coalition between Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and former President Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP). 

No announcement from Lani yet

Contrary to reports, Lambino also denied that Cavite Rep Lani Mercado-Revilla is planning to join her husband, Sen Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr in the Senate in 2013. Sen Revilla is the president of Lakas.

“It is clear that Cong Lani and the Revilla family [have] not expressed any intention to join any senatorial slate for the 2013 elections. As far as I know, they have not even entertained such a thought,” said Lambino.

‘Lakas not politically dead’

It remains to be seen whether a coalition between Lakas and UNA will materialize considering the exchange of criticism between Binay and Revilla. 

Binay has ruled out an alliance with Lakas, calling the party a “spent force” or “politically dead.”

In retaliation, Revilla slammed Binay for early politicking.

Kaya nasusuya na ang taumbayan. Katatapos pa lang ng eleksyon, eleksyon na naman ang iniintindi ng mga pulitiko.” (That’s why people get tired of politics. The elections just finished but politicians already focus on the next elections.)

Founded by former President Fidel Ramos and former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr, Lakas entered into a merger with then President Arroyo’s Kampi party for the 2010 elections. 

Lakas-Kampi is seen to have weakened after many of its candidates suffered defeat in 2010. Its standard bearer, then Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., only managed to finish 4th in the presidential race.

Other members jumped ship to the Liberal Party.

Arroyo’s unpopularity and detention are also perceived to have further diminished the clout of Lakas-Kampi.

Yet Revilla still believes Lakas should not be underestimated. Speculation is rife that he is eyeing either the presidency or the vice presidency in 2016.

“Lakas is not CGMA alone. There is more to the party. We are a principled political party with Christian-Muslim Democratic ideals,” Revilla said. –