AFTER GUINGONA, POE CAMP EYES LACSON

MANILA, March 14, 2004
 
(STAR) By Nikko Dizon - Will Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson be the Kilusan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP)’s "crowning glory"?

With Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. now officially part of KNP, the coalition has strengthened its resolve continue efforts to unify the opposition.

"Definitely, we will still work on Sen. Lacson. Politics is addition and we still hope for a unification and solidify our group," KNP spokesman, former Rep. Mike Romero, told The STAR in a phone interview.

Linggoy Alcuaz, a former official under the Arroyo administration now supporting the candidacy of KNP standard bearer, Fernando Poe Jr., said that Lacson will be the "crowning glory" of the opposition coalition.

KNP senatorial candidate Salvador Escudero III, agreed. "Yes, you can call it that. Ping will be our crowning glory, (although) the vice-president joining the KNP has already dealt a big blow to the administration," he said.

Romero and Escudero said the two standard-bearers of the opposition are set to meet the first week of April to discuss a possible unification. Escudero said both camps have agreed to let the talks be exclusive to the principal candidates to avoid having other people’s agendas influence the decision.

The KNP believes a unified opposition will seal a victory over the Arroyo administration. However, neither Poe nor Lacson has shown signs of giving up their presidential bids.

KNP senatorial bet Ernesto Herrera said the exodus of politicians to the KNP is proof that it is human nature to want to be identified with a winner.

Romero and Herrera are also looking forward to the exodus of ranking Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) and Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) leaders to the KNP.

Herrera said that, besides ranking party officials, a good number of local leaders from Lakas and the NPC will be defecting to the KNP by April.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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