Senator: Aquino should call the shots in political partnerships-A A +A
Friday, September 28, 2012
MANILA -- An administration ally said the Liberal Party's political partnership for the 2013 midterm elections should support the anti-corruption and anti-poverty agenda of President Benigno Aquino III.
This developed after the LP inked an agreement with the Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) and the National Unity Party (NUP), which is primarily composed of former allies of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
"Having said this, it should also be very clear to our coalition partners that it is President Aquino who sits at the head of the table and it is his reform agenda that is to be pursued. The moment any of our allies become stumbling blocks to reforms then it would be time to part ways," Senator Francis Pangilinan said.
LP's decision to coalesce with other parties came after the administration had difficulty in finding viable senatorial candidates among its ranks. Along the way, the LP even dropped long-time member Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada in the line-up apparently because of his poor showing in recent surveys.
Senator Francis Escudero, a common candidate of the LP and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said any politician would welcome support from different groups since it enhances one's chances of winning the race.
"Politics is always addition," he told reporters.
Not all is well in being a common candidate, however, said Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, because he might end up with no support from either side due to "envy and suspicion."
"In every election, the basic problem is how to convince every senator in the ticket to campaign for the whole ticket. Usually, a senatoriable ends up campaigning only for himself or his special friends," she said.
Santiago finished third in the senatorial elections in 2010, when she ran under her own People's Reform Party but at the same time was the common bet of the NP, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino of former President Joseph Estrada and then Lakas-Kampi-CMD of Arroyo.
"The phenomenon of common candidates might indicate that the surveys rule the campaign. If a senatoriable does not rank high in the surveys, he is likely to be dropped and replaced with someone who is among the top 12 candidates," she said.
Senator Loren Legarda and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares are also tipped to be named common candidates.
Meanwhile, Escudero felt that the senatorial elections will just be a friendly match, with UNA and LP sharing a common platform on good governance plus lack of strong opposition to the President’s policies.
"I expect it to be friendly because some candidates have been friends and colleagues in the Senate. I just hope that we will be able to maintain high quality discussion on issues during the campaign," he said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)