MANILA, JANUARY 21, 2013 (MANILA STANDARD) By Christine F. Herrera - The two major political parties preparing to go into battle for the mid-term senatorial elections in May signalled on Monday the leading roles in the campaign of President Aquino of the Liberal Party and Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance.

UNA claims its candidate will benefit from Aquino vs. Binay campaign because the Vice President has strong drawing power, but the LP said it would be black vs white campaign with no grey area and the President will be a good endorser because of his high trust ratings and good track record.

“When you come up with such a comparison, then the people will get to choose and distinguish the products. Black is black and white is white,” said LP acting president and Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya.

Reference to color points to complexion of fair-skinned Aquino and Binay’s dark complexion. They are not candidates for any position in the election in May, but Binay has his eyes set on running for president in 2016.

Aquino is barred from running for re-election in 2016, but he was expected to endorse Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, who lost to Binay in the vice-presidential race in 2010.

UNA candidates for senators — Ernesto Maceda, Maria Milagros Magsaysay, Gregorio Honasan, Margarita Conjuangco and Miguel Zubiri — said Binay is more popular than Aquino because of Binay’s track record in Makati City, which he would replicate throughout the country.

“Sa UNA gaganda and buhay. We need not say anything more. We would just show what Vice President Binay did to Makati and this would be replicated nationwide,” Honasan said.

Maceda said Binay would triple to three million jobs a year Aquino’s promise of one million jobs a year. “It can be done. With the platform and agenda of UNA, we can generate three million jobs a year because that is how many people who are jobless now.”

Aquino promised to campaign for LP and Binay would also start to join the sorties of UNA when the 90-day campaign period starts on February 12, Maceda said.

Abaya said it was part of the strategy of the Aquino Administration to distinguish their campaign from that of UNA because “we will make it apparent that there’s a clear difference between our slate and their slate.”

“Amin and tuwid na daan, kanila iyung kanilang daan,” Abaya said.

UNA also claimed Cebu province, which has 1.4 voting population, as opposition bailiwick as a result of Malacanang’s suspension of governor Gwendolyn Garcia, which angered many Cebuanos.

“The LP will suffer a backlash for what they did to Gwen. Instead of getting jeers and boos, Gwen was met with thunderous and overwhelming applause from Cebuanos,” Maceda.

Garcia has barricaded herself inside her office to defy the suspension order issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government last December 19. Her petition to stop the suspension on charges of abuse of authority is still pending at the Court of Appeals. With Joyce P. Pañares


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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