[Photos: The 3 common U.N.A. senatorial candidates now in TeamPNoy slate]


Loren Legarda

Grace Poe Llamanzares

MANILA, FEBRUARY 18, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Nancy C. Carvajal - The plan to drop the three common senatorial candidates his United Nationalist Alliance shares in common with the administration’s Team PNoy — Grace Poe-Llamanzares and senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda —is not yet final, former President Joseph Estrada said Friday.

Estrada made the disclosure in an interview at the signing of an election covenant among local candidates in Manila. He said the decision on whether to drop the three candidates from the UNA slate would be made by the coalition’s three bigwigs, namely, namely Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and himself.

When asked what UNA’s threshold of patience was for the continued failure of the three candidates to attend UNA campaign sorties, Estrada replied, “We cannot say how long we can tolerate their non-attendance of our campaign sorties, but the decision will be made soon.’’

He added that as of this time, no decision on the fate of the three common bets have been made, but it will have to come from UNA’s acknowledged leaders.

“The three of us have to discuss the possibility of their exclusion from the UNA slate if it happens, and soon,’’ Estrada said.

Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco, UNA campaign manager, said earlier that Llamanzares, Escudero and Legarda should decide whether they will campaign for LP and not join UNA rallies.


[Photo courtesy of Screenshot of UNA senatorial slate ad that began airing January 7]

LP taunts UNA on common bets issue By Joyce Pangco Panares | Posted on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:01am

The Liberal Party said Friday the United Nationalist Alliance only had themselves to blame if their three adopted candidates were not joining their sorties and were sticking with Team PNoy.

LP member and House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said UNA was being wracked by defections this early because of “its lack of a coherent platform of governance.”

“The three common candidates of Team PNoy and UNA, namely Senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero and Grace Poe[-Llamanzares], appeared at the launching of Team PNoy at Plaza Miranda instead of going to Cebu for the UNA proclamation rally. That speaks volumes about what they think of UNA,” Gonzales said.

“The campaign is just a day old, and UNA is already talking about disciplining some of its candidates.”

Gonzales made his statement even as Vice President Jejomar Binay said they were still studying whether or not they would drop Legarda, Escudero and Llamanzares from UNA’s senatorial slate.

He asked the public to give them time to decide on the issue.

“We’re still studying it,” Binay told reporters.

“Please give us time.”

Team PNoy spokesman Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo said the three common candidates would be enjoying the full support of the administration alliance “regardless of what actions UNA takes.”

UNA campaign manager Toby Tiangco said Escudero, Legarda and Llamanzares must not leave the opposition hanging on whether or not they would be joining their sorties.

“If we are not important to them, then they should say so and not leave us hanging. They should not have the best of both worlds. It’s unfair to us especially our solid UNA candidates who are campaigning hard in the provinces,” Tiangco said.

Llamanzares sought an audience with former President Joseph Estrada Wednesday last week and with Vice President Jejomar Binay on Sunday.

Llamanzares asked that her son Brian be allowed to stand in for her at the Cebu rally, to which Binay agreed.

Legarda, for her part, sought an audience with Estrada on Feb. 11 and sent her 80-year-old father as proxy.

In Escudero’s case, Tiangco said, “basic etiquette, respect and courtesy dictate that if you cannot make it to an important event where you are expected to attend, you should send a proxy.

“The one who invited you need not request a proxy. He could have sent his mother who is a candidate in the district of his late father.”

Tiangco said if Escudero, Legarda and Llamanzares wanted to campaign exclusively with the Liberal Party, they should say so and decide now and not leave UNA’s leaders and supporters hanging.

He said UNA had given the three much leeway. He said Poe and Legarda had made a commitment to attend future UNA rallies and sorties.

He said they even moved the start of Tuesday’s rally to 8 p.m. to give them time to catch a plane to Cebu after the LP rally in Plaza Miranda.

“But their recent statements and actions have left UNA no recourse but to ask them to make a public commitment to join UNA events,” Tiangco said. With Sara Susanne D. Fabunan and Gigi Muńoz-David

UNA claims Team PNoy not official coalition By Christine F. Herrera | Posted on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:01am

[PHOTO - TEAM PNoy Rally Photo-days ago]

Tagbilaran City —The opposition United Nationalist Alliance on Thursday twitted the administration’s Team PNoy for failing to get accreditation from the Commission on Elections as a registered coalition or political party.

“We are the dominant coalition. Tunay na tunay,” said UNA elder and former President Joseph Estrada. “The Comelec has declared that Team PNoy is not official.”

UNA senatorial bet and Zambales Rep. Maria Milagros Magsaysay said the Liberal Party coalition—dubbed Team PNoy —suffered a major setback and could not even air their radio and TV ads because the Comelec had junked its accreditation.

“They probably thought that branding them as the Liberal Party would not click, so they had to capitalize on Pnoy to get their candidates elected,” she said.

But Team PNoy campaign manager Senator Franklin Drilon dismissed the opposition claims, saying Team Pnoy was meant to be a brand, not the official name of the coalition.

“We never used Team PNoy as a political party. It is a slogan. We are not buying air time or campaign materials as Team PNoy,” Drilon said.

Another UNA senatorial bet, Nancy Binay, said the LP coalition could not even claim to be a coalition because its candidates filed their certificates of candidacy under their respective parties, not under the “LP coalition.”

“Not one of the administration party’s senatorial candidates filed his or her certificate of candidacy bearing the name LP coalition. In our case, all nine senatorial candidates and the congressmen, governors and mayors filed their certificates of candidacy as UNA,” Binay said.

Magsaysay said the LP committed a blunder by creating the Team PNoy after the filing of the certificates of candidacy.

“We are branded as a group. If they can’t use Team Pnoy, what’s their brand?” Magsaysay said.

Under Comelec rules, she said, Team PNoy will not even be furnished with certificates of canvass because the Team PNoy and the LP coalition are not considered political parties.

“They will probably get individual COCs like the NPC [Nationalist People’s Coalition], NP [Nacionalista Party], and the Liberals,” she said.

Reacting to the opposition claims, LP spokesman and Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said that Team Pnoy is fully aware that it is not a political party.

“The parties under the coalition will pay for the ads,” Evardone told the Manila Standard.

He described Team Pnoy’s non-registration as a non-issue.

“Team Pnoy is not a political party. It is a slogan or a tagline to emphasize that the coalition is supported by President [Benigno Aquino III] Pnoy. To us, it is a non-issue. We are aware that the Team Pnoy is not a registered political party or coalition simply because it is not a party,” he said.

Team PNoy is composed of candidates from the Liberal Party, the Nacionalista Party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, and the Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party.

Another LP spokesman, Marikina Rep. Romero Federico Quimbo, said Team Pnoy was never intended to be a political party.

“Team Pnoy is a political brand, a rallying call for the candidates under the LP coalition who are supportive of Pnoy (Aquino)’s tuwid na daan program,” he said.

Quimbo said the respective parties, principally the LP, would fund the group’s advertisements.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. earlier said that unlike UNA, which is accredited by the poll body, Team PNoy will not have the privilege to air coalition ads during the 90-day campaign period.

Evardone also said that the Team Pnoy knows that elections laws and will comply with them.

As the two sides traded fire over accreditation, an election lawyer said the country should go back to the two-party system with a clear dominant majority party and a dominant minority party.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal said that determination of dominant majority and minority parties “will still be based on the registered parties regardless of whether it is PNoy Team or Binay Team.”

“That’s the best argument that we need to go back to two party system,” Macalintal said. With Maricel V. Cruz and Rey E. Requejo

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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