Llamanzares, Escudero, Legarda to join Team PNoy’s proclamation rally

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

MANILA (Updated) -- The three common candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and Liberal Party (LP) coalition will join the proclamation rally of the administration's senatorial slate at the historic Plaza Miranda next week, a party official said.

Western Samar Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento, LP secretary general, said Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda, and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares, will join the opening salvo of the LP-led slate.

"We didn't tell them what they should do but of course, they're looking for exposure. Perhaps, it's not wise for a candidate not to show up in the opening salvo and be endorsed by the President," Sarmiento said.

Sought for comment, Escudero said he has yet to decide whether to share the stage with UNA or Team PNoy bets next week.

"Hangga't hindi namin natatanggap nang opisyal yung imbitasyon, paano naman kami magdedesisyon, yung normal na imbitasyon hindi pa namin natatanggap mula sa LP at mula sa UNA," he said in an ambush interview.

He added that joining sorties is not an issue at all since candidates of both coalitions cannot attend to all of these.

"Uulitin ko lamang yung sinabi ko, independent ako, kasabay ng pasasalamat ko ng pag-adopt sa aming kandidatura, siguro ang pagkakaroon ko pa rin at pananatili ng kalayaan kong magdesisyon kung ano ang gagawin at hindi gagawin, kung ano ang sasabihin o hindi sasabihin," he said.

President Benigno Aquino III will also join the 12 administration candidates for senator during the proclamation rally of Team PNoy.

"We chose Plaza Miranda because of its story to the Liberal Party, especially back in 1971, pero wag naman sanang mangyari," Sarmiento said, referring to the 1971 bombing during the political campaign rally of LP that killed nine persons and wounded scores others.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who is running for reelection against former President Joseph Estrada, will also join Team PNoy.

Party leaders of the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) have also been invited to the proclamation rally. The NP and NPC have forged a coalition agreement with LP for the May polls.

UNA, for its part, will kick off its campaign in Cebu in support of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who was meted with six months suspension by the Office of the Philippines for abuse of power.

UNA's leaders, Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, have openly expressed support to the suspended governor.

Garcia's office, where the beleaguered governor spent Christmas and New Year, was padlocked last week by the police after she went out to visit her supporters in the southern towns of the province.

Sarmiento, meantime, said it is UNA's discretion where they will hold their campaign rally.

"There is no political problem in Cebu, it's a domestic problem, so again whatever that domestic problem in Cebu is, that's their decision. We cannot really speak for UNA," he told reporters. (Kathrina Alvarez/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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