UNA to focus on platforms, not personalities-A A +A
Monday, January 21, 2013
MANILA -- Senatorial candidates under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) promised not to engage in mudslinging at the expense of other candidates for the May 13 midterm elections.
Facing reporters weeks before the start of the campaign period, former Senator Ernesto Maceda said Monday that UNA will just focus on elaborating its platform for good governance.
"We are not campaigning against anybody," he said in response to reports that UNA leader, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, will expose to the public the alleged misgivings of his critic Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Trillanes, who is running for reelection under the Liberal Party-led coalition, had a falling out with Enrile last September over the planned division of Camarines Sur.
Enrile, on the other hand, accused Trillanes of being a traitor for allegedly defending the interest of China in the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea.
UNA, a coalition formed by Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph Estrada, had said that it will still support the popular Aquino administration while taking an objective view of the implementation of several programs.
"We will be here to fiscalize," said Senator Gregorio Honasan II.
If she will win one of 12 seats up for grabs, Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay promised to look into the disbursement of funds for poverty alleviation programs like conditional cash transfer.
For her part, former Tarlac Governor Margarita Cojuangco will check the plight of farmers. Cojuangco is the aunt of President Benigno Aquino III, whose relatives lost ownership of the sprawling Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac to farmers who have been tilling the land for decades.
UNA has yet to release a campaign schedule but coalition spokesperson Toby Tiangco said they have prepared a matrix covering the three-month campaign period which ends on May 11.
But this is subject to change, depending on the schedule of local candidates backed by UNA.
Tiangco said all UNA candidates except perhaps for its guests, Grace Poe Llamanzares and Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, will join the proclamation rally in February and miting de avance in May.
"We make a schedule taking matters into consideration. We send to them (UNA bets) the schedule but it's within their liberty to go or not," he said.
Despite having candidates who are doing well in surveys, UNA admitted that funds are not yet coming in.
"We really have a problem on the financial aspect unless you help us find sponsors," Tiangco said in jest.
Last week, Tiangco said UNA is indeed at a disadvantage given the resources and influence the administration party has at its disposal. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)