MANILA, MARCH 25, 2013 (YAHOO ASIA NEWS) GMA News Online – POSTED Tue, Feb 12, 2013 – Fashioning itself the “constructive opposition,” the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) called attention to the supposed shortcomings of President Benigno Aquino’s administration in its proclamation rally in Cebu on Tuesday night.

Vice President Jejomar Binay threw the first jab at the sortie when he said that the administration’s reform programs were not enough to alleviate poverty in the country.

“Hindi dapat puro papuri… Dapat hindi lang reporma. Dapat mapaganda ang buhay. Ako ay naniniwala na ang UNA, mapapaganda ang inyong buhay,” Binay said in a speech delivered before thousands of Cebuanos at the Plaza Indepencia.

He also took a swing at political parties who supposedly claim that they have exclusive knowledge of what is good for the country.

Binay however said that UNA will be a “responsible” opposition, giving credit where credit is due.

“Sinusuportahan namin sa UNA ang mga programa na dapat suportahan, pero kung kailangang ipakita ang mga pagkukulang, kung kailangang sabihin ang kamalian, gagawin din naming ‘yan. Ito po ang bago at responsableng oposisyon,” he said.

‘Aanhin mo ang daang matuwid?’

During the same event, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile was scathing in his assessment of the President’s platform of governance.

“Aanhin mo ang daang matuwid kung masikip? Aanhin mo ang daang matuwid kung maraming mandarambong? Aanhin mo ang daang matuwid kung marami ang nagpapanggap na malinis?” Enrile said.

He also accused the administration of trying to encroach on the Senate’s independence.

“Gusto nila talian ang ilong ng Senado na parang isang kalabaw na puwedeng hilahin ng kung sino man ang nasa kapangyarihan,” he said.

Former Senator Ernesto Maceda Jr., who is aiming to make a comeback at the Senate, meanwhile warned of a “dictatorship” under Aquino.

“Kailangang hindi tuta. Kontrolado na nila ang House of Representatives. Kontrolado na nila ang Korte Suprema. Kung kokontrolin din nila ang Senado, magiging diktaturya na tayo,” Maceda said. — DVM, GMA News

UNA spent less on rally compared to LP, documents show AMITA LEGASPI, GMA NewsFebruary 21, 2013 5:09pm

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spent less than a million for its proclamation rally last February 12 compared to the P1.89 million shelled out by the Liberal Party-led administration coalition.

A total of P842, 224.66 was shelled out by UNA based on its five-page Statement of Expenses on Public Rally submitted to Cebu City 1st district election officer lawyer Marchel Sarno last February 21.

UNA’s expenses was lessened after businessman William Gatchalian shouldered the hotel accommodations of the participants in the proclamation rally held in Plaza Independencia, Cebu City. The contingent stayed at the Gatchalian-owned Waterfront Hotel in Lahug City.

Gatchalian’s donation was listed as part of the P946, 625 donation received by UNA for the event.

The tycoon’s sons, Valenzuela Rep. Rexlon Gatchalian and Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian, were allied with LP.

UNA’s expense report, submitted by Navotas Rep. and UNA secretary general Tobias Tiangco, was more detailed than that of the two-page report of LP.

Among the expenses listed were campaign vests, food, gasoline, decorations, supplies, bus rentals, permit to rally, permit to parade, permit for road closure, printing, honorarium, water, lights and sounds, rental of vehicles, umbrellas, transportation and talent honorarium for performers, ID lamination, tarpaulin, hotel accommodation, mass offering.

Also included in the expense report were airfare of the candidates and their staff.

LP submitted its expense report before the Comelec's 3rd district office on February 19, seven days after the proclamation rally in Plaza Miranda. LP shelled out a total of P1.89 million for the rally that started around 4 p.m.

The administration party paid Creative Synergy, Inc. P945,560 for the rally’s staging and logistics and another P945,560 for production, based on the document obtained by GMA News Online.

The statement was submitted by LP Treasurer Alfonso Umali Jr.

Section 88 of the Omnibus Election Code states that any political party or candidate shall notify the election registrar concerned of any public rally it intends to organize and hold in the city or municipality.

The political party or candidate should, within seven working days after the event, submit to the election registrar a statement of expenses incurred in the rally.

Section 14 of the Republic Act 7166 (An Act providing for synchronized national and local elections and for electoral reforms) states that every candidate and treasurer of the political party shall, within 30 days after the election day, file in duplicate with the offices of the Comelec the full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election.

It further stated that "no person elected to any public offices shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statement of contributions and expenditures herein required."

Section 13 of RA 7166 provides that candidates may spend P3 for every voter currently registered in the area where he filed his certificate of candidacy while candidates without any political party and without support from any political party may be allowed to spend P5 for every voter.

Political parties, on the other hand, may spend P5 for every voter in areas where it has official candidates.

Some 52 million Filipinos are registered voters and can participate in the May 13 polls, according to Comelec records as of January 22, 2013. — KBK, GMA News


UNA takes ‘daang maganda’ with ‘3 kings’ By Charisse Ursal, Jhunnex Napallacan, Leila B. Salaverria Inquirer Visayas, Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:31 am | Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA Former President Joseph Estrada, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile proclaim senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in Plaza Independencia in Cebu City. The UNA senatorial candidates are (from left) Migz Zubiri, Mitos Magsaysay, Ernesto Maceda, Gringo Honasan, Dick Gordon, JV Ejercito, Jackie Enrile, Tingting Cojuangco and Nancy Binay. TONEE DESPOJO/CEBU DAILY NEWS

CEBU CITY—Senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Tuesday began taking the “beautiful road,” or “daang maganda.”

Kicking off its campaign in vote-rich Cebu, UNA started paving its own road as it contests the “pretenders” tag from the ruling Team PNoy coalition.

UNA executives earlier said the alliance was forging a “daang maganda,” leading to better lives for the people, to counter Team PNoy’s “daang matuwid,” although they insisted they were not President Aquino’s enemy.

In a festive party at Cebu City’s Plaza Independencia, UNA brought its own political clout with its so-called three kings—Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Crowds began gathering at the plaza in the afternoon under an overcast sky, entertained by dancers and singers. By nightfall, police estimated between 80,000 and 90,000 people had crammed the area.

New kind of opposition

In his speech at the rally endorsing UNA’s candidates, Binay took potshots at the administration, although he did not mention Aquino by name.

UNA is for reform, he said, but mere reforms are not enough if the people will not feel these. Any development of the country has to be felt by the people and must improve their lives. “Growth has to filter down,” he said.

A robust stock market makes businessmen happy, Binay said, but changes in the country must also give joy to the ordinary people. “Development is not only for the businessmen and the rich, it is for all Filipinos,” he said.

Binay said these positive changes could be achieved by speaking the truth.

It would not do for leaders to only hear praises all the time, he said. Criticism for programs that are not good are important, he said. This is where UNA comes in as the new kind of opposition, a “constructive opposition,” Binay said.

The Vice President said the UNA candidates would be “senators who would not allow themselves to be dictated by their party, but would instead listen to the people.”

Political butterflies

Binay repeated his earlier observation made in an interview, that the people surrounding the administration were those who were quick to change political colors.

He said no party had the right to claim to be the only one that knew how to serve the country and what was right.

Binay defended Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, who was present during the event, criticizing her suspension by Malacañang.

“She was denied due process and was a victim of politics,” he said, adding he could relate to Garcia because he had been ordered suspended before. But his spirits were buoyed up by the outpouring of support from his constituents.

Three of UNA’s candidates, which it has in common with Team PNoy, were no-shows.

Grace Poe was represented by her son Brian Llamanzares and actress Sheryl Cruz, while Legarda was represented by her father Tony Legarda. There was no representative from Sen. Francis Escudero, whose picture was not included on the stage, although it was flashed on the screen when the candidates were introduced as the party’s theme song, “Sa UNA, Gaganda ang Buhay,” played in the background.

The three common candidates opted to join Aquino at Team PNoy’s proclamation rally in Manila’s downtown Plaza Miranda.

No pretenders

Earlier in the day, Binay insisted that UNA was not a pretender and was actually the President’s ally in many of its programs.

Binay is a member of the President’s Cabinet, he pointed out, and supported Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, during her administration.

He also noted that the label may apply more to the people around the President.

“Excuse me. How about them, the President has not warmed his seat, and yet those who were vocal in contradicting him are all there,” he told reporters in Cebu.

But Binay stopped there, saying he did not want to say anything bad and hopes there would be no mudslinging.

He also declined to discuss the absence of common candidates, including the lack of a representative from Escudero, and said he did not want any intrigue.

Binay said he wanted UNA to be an inclusive organization and not one that revolved only around a certain group.

Dead heat

Based on the latest survey, UNA’s candidates were in a dead heat with those of Team PNoy.

UNA and the Liberal Party coalition each had five candidates in the Top 12, aside from the common candidates.

The UNA candidates in the winning column were Nancy Binay, San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito, Cagayan Rep. Juan “Jack” Ponce Enrile, former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Gringo Honasan.

In the magic circle from Team PNoy were Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar and Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara.

Racist campaign line

In a press conference in the morning, the Vice President decried the use of “black and white” in describing the fight between UNA and Team PNoy.

“I am proud of the brown race. I heard that the issue is black and white. Wow, racist. Color against color. What is right in the heart, in spirit—that’s what will be needed in the administration,” Binay said.

When asked why UNA chose Cebu as the site for the party’s proclamation rally, the Vice President said, “Why not.”

Cebu is very progressive, he said, and well managed and because of this it has gained respect not only in the Philippines but in the world as well.

After attending Mass at Cebu Cathedral at 8 a.m., the UNA candidates were divided into two groups, which went on a motorcade, one going to Talisay, south of Cebu City, and the other to Mandaue City.

Top leaders of UNA from the National Capital Region went to Cebu to show their support for the party’s senatorial candidates. Led by UNA-NCR chairman and Muntinlupa Mayor Aldrin San Pedro, the UNA leaders said Cebu—like Metro Manila—was one of the party’s strongest bailiwicks.

“So far, all the national and Metro-wide senatorial surveys show an overwhelming lead of UNA candidates in the Top 12. We hope to maintain this with the high credibility of our endorsers,” San Pedro said, referring to Binay, Enrile and Estrada.

Also present during the Cebu rally were Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay and Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved