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MANILA, Philippines – With less than 8 months to go before the 2016 presidential elections, candidates scramble to get the support of political parties.
Three possible national candidates pitched themselves before some 500 local and national members of the National Unity Party during its national convention in Pasay City on Monday, September 28.
This is how they tried to sell themselves to their fellow politicians, who will hopefully deliver for national candidates votes from their bailiwicks
Binay: Larger LGU shares in income
Vice President Jejomar Binay, the presidential candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance, said there are millions of pesos in the budget that supposedly fund “ghost projects,” but which the Aquino administration failed to closely monitor.
Touching briefly on corruption allegations against him when he was Makati mayor, he said all school buildings in Makati and its city hall, which his critics said were overpriced, are “de-kalidad” or of high quality.
He also promised that if he wins in 2016, he would propose another form of pork barrel for lawmakers so they could attend to the urgent needs of their constituents, like during calamities.
“We won’t call it PDAF because that is banned,” Binay said, referring to the old pork barrel system called the Priority Development Assistance Fund, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional.
Binay also said that local government units which have power plants in their jurisdiction should be given their fair share from the proceeds.
The Vice President also mentioned that he would push for the review of the local government’s share in the Internal Revenue Allotment, which is currently at 40%, against the 60% that the national government gets to keep.
Marcos: Prioritize infrastructure
Although he had not declared whether it’s the presidency or the vice presidency he would seek in 2016, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr attended the NUP event, where he promised to “try” to unite the country, calling the Aquino administration “polarizing.”
Marcos took a swipe at the Aquino administration for the supposed lack of infrastructure development, specifically criticizing the poor transportation sector.
“The next government in 2016 will have to make a priority that the infrastructure development that has been left behind by this administration will have to catch up. There are issues fundamental to the progress of our country,” Marcos said.
Roxas: Bank on Aquino reforms
Resigned Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II did not discuss specific policies and plans and only referred to the Aquino administration’s Daang Matuwid (Straight Path), as he would always do in his sorties and other engagements.
“Kaya malakas ang loob ko po na tumayo rito sa harapan ninyo, na magbigay ng buong respeto sa inyong partido, parang sa pamamanhikan, hingin ang inyong matamis na oo sa pagpapatuloy ng Daang Matuwid sa darating na 2016,” Roxas said.
(That’s why I have the courage to stand in front of you, to give respect to your party, as in courtship, to ask for your sweet yes in the continuation of Daang Matuwid in 2016.)
The administration standard-bearer highlighted the reforms undertaken by the Aquino government, such as the increased funding for the PhilHealth due to the passage of the sin tax reform law and the higher budget for the Conditional Cash Transfer program.
He also thanked the NUP for being part of the administration coalition that pushed for the passage of Aquino’s priority measures in Congress. Roxas pleaded with NUP members to continue on the said path.
The NUP has been part of the Liberal Party-led coalition since 2013, together with the Nationalist People’s Coalition and the Nacionalista Party. – Rappler.com