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Remember how Koko first junked UNA?

Carmela Fonbuena
Posted on 02/22/2013 10:40 AM  | Updated 02/22/2013 11:02 AM

'NOT A GOOD IDEA.' Sen Koko Pimentel says from the start, he knew that being a common candidate was not a good idea. File photo by John Javellana 'NOT A GOOD IDEA.' Sen Koko Pimentel says from the start, he knew that being a common candidate was not a good idea. File photo by John Javellana

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines - Team PNoy senatorial bet Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said he can relate to Sen Francis Escudero, Sen Loren Legarda, and former censors chief Grace Poe who were junked by rival slate United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as common candidates.

Pimentel was the first candidate the Liberal Party and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) were fighting over last year before the filing of certificates of candidacies in October.

Pimentel chose the administration slate now called Team PNoy. From the beginning, he said he did not think it was smart to be a common candidate.

"I could relate. Kasi ang akin ay namili na ako. Hindi na ako nag-try na mamangka ng 2 bangka. Yung paa ko, alam ko kung lumayo na ang 2 bangka, I will ultimately fall into the water," he told reporters after a sortie in Bacolod City on Friday, February 22. (Because to me, I had to make a choice. I did not try to straddle two boats. I know that if I do that, I will fall into the water.)

Pimentel bolted UNA because it included his political nemesis resigned Sen Juan Miguel Zubiri despite his strong objection.

Ironically, the senator was key to the formation of UNA, as president of Vice President Jejomar Binay's Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). PDP-Laban is one of the parties under UNA, along with former President Joseph Estrada's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

"From the very start, ako na mismo nagsabi that I cannot be a common candidate. I don't want to be with the person who deprived me of my complete term," Pimentel said. (I was the one who said I cannot be a common candidate.)

UNA's decision to junk the 3 common candidates leaves the coalition with an incomplete senatorial slate. UNA though has decided to just stick to its 9 senatorial bets.

Now that the issue on the common candidates is settled, Team PNoy senatorial bet Aurora Rep Sonny Angara said it's time to move on to other issues.

"Because of the issue on 3 common candidates, they got the bulk of the attention," he told reporters.

"Perhaps its better [that the issue is settled]. There will be less focus on personalities and more on issues," he added.

Angara, last week, teased reporters to also pay them attention. -

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