Aquino gets his way with 2013 slate

President Benigno Aquino III forms a rainbow coalition for the 2013 midterm elections and gets the candidates the opposition has been courting

MANILA, Philippines – The President’s party launched its senatorial lineup Monday, October 1, a rainbow alliance of 5 parties and independents of diverse political colors.

Natashya Gutierrez reports.  

Aquino gets his way with 2013 slate

The President’s first cousin, former political rivals, and re-electionists…

this is the administration senatorial slate, which the coalition calls a powerhouse.

The ruling Liberal Party aligns with 4 others for 2013 — Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition, party list Akbayan and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino.

Of the slate, only 3 are from LP. The rest come from its new allies, including 3 independent candidates.

It’s a rainbow coalition, but President Benigno Aquino III says what matters is they all support his agenda of reform.

Marami po sa kanila ang nakatrabaho ko na. Sila ang humarap sa pagsagasa ng tren ng nakaraang administrasyon; puwede namang pumanig na lang sila sa mali, at tumamasa ng kaliwa’t kanang benepisyo. Pero tumaya sila sa tama, at tumindig kasama ng sambayanan kontra sa katiwalian.

SUBTITLE: I worked with a lot of them. They were the ones who fought against the past administration. They could’ve sided with the wrong side and gotten the benefits. But they stayed with what was right, and stayed with the fight against corruption.

Of the 12, three candidates, Loren Legarda, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Grace Poe-Llamanzares…

are guests of the opposition, the United National Alliance led by Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Sen Franklin Drilon, who is the campaign manager for 2010, says it is a clear rule that those in LP’s slate will not campaign for UNA.

We cannot prevent them from adopting some of our candidates. But we certainly find it problematic if these candidates they adopt would suddenly appear in rallies because when they endorse the candidates of the other side, that means they are junking the candidates of the coalition.

It is a harsh rule but the President gets what he wants.

All candidates that UNA and LP are courting choose the administration slate… including Legarda, who has continuously topped surveys.

Legarda kept quiet until the proclamation rally, where she tells reporters she could not say no to Aquino.

No less than the President invited me to Malcañang last Thursday to personally invite me to to join the LP-NP-NPC coalition. Ang tinananong ko sa aking sarili, sino ba ako para humindi?

SUBTITLE: I asked myself, who am I to say no?

Aquino’s confidence in his slate shows.

In a room full of LP yellow, Aquino’s rhetoric slams UNA.

Kung tama kami, puwede bang tama rin ang kontra sa amin? Kung doon sila panig, masasabi po ba nating may maliwanag silang pag-intindi sa tama at mali? At kung hindi naman maliwanag, saan naman po kaya tayo dadalhin ng kanilang pamumuno?

SUBTITLE: If we are right, can it be possible that they too are right? If they are siding with them, can we say they understand what is right from wrong? And if it isn’t clear, where then will they lead us once they’re in government?

The “rainbow coalition” concept was popularized by former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr during the Ramos administration.

De Venecia formed the “rainbow coalition” because then President Fidel Ramos won the presidency in 1992 through a ragtag political party, the Lakas-CMD, which later on grew into a ruling party.

Not only does the President get his way, but with his ratings highest now since he first took office, Aquino’s lineup looks promising — regardless of its strange bedfellows.

Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Manila.

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