NOY STILL OPEN TO COALITION OF LIBERAL PARTY WITH BINAY'S PDP-LABAN

[PHOTO - President Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay stand beside the Rizal Fountain historical marker during the 115th anniversary of the execution of national hero Jose Rizal at the Noli Me Tangere Garden in Rizal Park yesterday.]

MANILA, DECEMBER 31, 2011 (STAR) By Delon Porcalla - A coalition between the two opposing parties in President Aquino’s circle the ruling Liberal Party and PDP-Laban of Vice President Jejomar Binay is still possible in the May 2013 midterm senatorial elections, a Palace official hinted yesterday.

Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Ronald Llamas said this political realignment may still have its way, despite an earlier pronouncement from Aquino himself that uniting the two parties may be farfetched.

Llamas told newsmen in a chance interview at Rizal Park that the President merely mentioned in passing some of the stumbling blocks, especially since the PDP-Laban and LP fought in the last elections, but they were not closing the door on the possibility of a merger.

Aquino’s statement to Lynda Jumilla of ABS-CBN was “open-ended,” and it was just a pragmatic view of a party stalwart and Chief Executive at the same time, given the May 2010 presidential elections’ experience.

“He was just mentioning the difficulties because of previous electoral contests, but his statement was not final and he was just noting that the parties are distinct and separate,” Llamas said in Filipino, rectifying misimpressions of no merger.

The equation in 2010 will most likely differ in May 2016, when Aquino steps down from office, after serving his fixed six-year term.

PDP-Laban supported ex-President Joseph Estrada’s reelection, while Aquino was LP’s candidate.

Aquino told ABS-CBN earlier that among the senatorial candidates he wanted to run in 2013 are Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, Deputy Commissioner Danny Lim, former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

In a related development, Llamas also defended Aquino from criticisms that the administration seemed to be politicking too early, following the President’s revelation of a possible senatorial slate in 2013.

He clarified that Aquino was just asked a question about the senatorial polls, to which he replied. Llamas stressed that this was not volunteered, but a reply to a question from a broadcast journalist.

“It wasn’t volunteered. It was not an active attempt to promote possible candidates. It was just a question,” Llamas said, adding it was only part of a longer interview.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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