ROXAS CITY, Philippines – They’re also senatorial candidates of opposing slates but don’t expect Panfilo Lacson and reelectionist Senator Ralph Recto to show up on stages that aren’t color yellow.
The two were present during the ruling Liberal Party’s kick-off for the 2016 elections in this city on Tuesday morning, February 9, joining LP standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II, his running mate Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, and the 10 other Senate bets.
Lacson is a “shared candidate” of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) while Recto is also part of independent presidential bet Senator Grace Poe’s slate.
“I give premium to utang na loob. Malaki ang utang na loob ko kay Sec Mar,” said Lacson in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the kickoff at the Capiz gymnasium.
The former national police chief said that when he was accused of plotting a crime in Greenhills, San Juan City, it was Roxas who wrote an affidavit to prove that Lacson was, in fact, with him at the United Nations. Roxas did this, Lacson said, “even if he was on his way to his honeymoon with Korina [Sanchez].”
Rules for “shared candidates” are a touchy issue.
Roxas and the LP earlier said that while it won’t impose hard and fast rules on shared bets, they expect them to support only “Daang Matuwid” candidates.
“Hindi ako kailangan pagsabihan kasi napaka-awkward naman na sasama ako kay Sec Mar at Leni Robredo pagkatapos makikialam ako sa iba. Parang hindi na maganda ang reflection kung ganon,” added Lacson.
“Daang Matuwid” is the current administration’s catch-all phrase for its transparency, anti-corruption, and good governance programs.
The coalition is named after it because its bets promise to continue the reforms of the current administration. (READ: LP Senate sweep? Unlikely)
When asked if he was invited to the Poe kickoff in Plaza Miranda, Manila, Recto said: “Ako’y miyembro ng Liberal Party. Andito ako sa Capiz, sa Roxas City.”
Recto had earlier been in the same event with Poe but he still wore the ruling party’s yellow.
“Shared candidates” is a phenomenon unique to the Philippines. Senate bets, particularly popular ones, are candidates of different, oftentimes opposing slates.
In 2013, the LP “shared” 3 candidates with UNA, among them Poe and her now running mate Senator Francis Escudero
The two eventually decided to appear exclusively on the LP stage and they were eventually dropped from the UNA slate.
Is Lacson ready for that scenario as the campaign progresses? “That’s their prerogative. It’s a privilege you can revoke anytime,” he said.
UNA is launching its campaign in Mandaluyong City. – Rappler.com