LP, NP, NPC to coalesce-A A +A
Monday, July 9, 2012
IT looks like the political union of the Liberal Party (LP), the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) is a done deal. A source said that a formal announcement of the alliance is forthcoming.
A press statement from Cebu 1st District Rep. Eduardo R. Gullas confirmed what my source said about the agreement to unite the country’s two oldest existing political parties and the NPC of Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco. Eddiegul was more cautious in describing the coalition as “emerging” but that was because the parties have yet to agree on whether to give the NP the four slots that it is asking in the coalition’s senatorial ticket, said my source.
Unknown to many, the first district solon played a key part in bringing the NP and the LP together. It was he who suggested to Sen. Manny Villar to meet with the 19 NP members of the House of Representatives to get a consensus on the alliance. The NP congressmen reportedly favored aligning with the LP than with the United Nationalist Opposition (UNA).
President Aquino must have learned about the Cebu congressman’s role because he asked, through Energy Secretary Rene Almendras, to meet with Gullas when he came to Cebu to formalize the LP’s coalition with Nito Durano’s Bakud last Saturday.
The two met at the Mactan Cebu International Airport in the presence of Sen. Franklin Drilon, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas and Local Governments Secretary Jessie Robredo, among others. The LP chairman in Cebu, Junjun Davide and Eddiegul’s grandson, Samsam, were also present. Samsam is being groomed to run for congressman in the first district next year.
In his press statement, Gullas said that the LP-NP coalition “makes a lot of sense for the two parties,” recalling that the LP used to be the “liberal” wing of the NP under which the late president Manuel Roxas ran for the country’s highest post.
He also said that the combined forces of the two parties, together with the NPC, would be formidable. He predicted that the forthcoming polls would be a “good fight” between the LP-NP-NPC coalition and the UNA.
The coalition would pose very intriguing possibilities insofar as Eddiegul is concerned. Although he is an NP member, he is also the head of the Alayon which has an existing alliance with One Cebu of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia. Will he stick with the Garcias and support only the coalition’s senatorial ticket?
My source told me that the Garcias (2nd District Rep. Pablo, 3rd District Rep. PJ and the governor) have requested for a meeting with Gullas. He has not set a date. In the meantime, he has allowed his mayors to meet with the One Cebu leaders last week. All of them reportedly pledged to support the candidacy of PJ because his sister has been good to them.
The same source said that Eddiegul’s decision would eventually depend on how Davide “behaves” especially with regard to the first district. They claimed that Eddiegul was “sympathetic” to Junjun, who is a very close friend of his only son, Didi, but he was peeved by the LP chairman’s repeated statements to the media that insofar as the first district is concerned, it would be San Fernando Mayor Antonio Canoy who will call the shots.
Canoy is the only non-Alayon mayor in the district. He is also said to be planning to run for congressman next year. Eddiegul reportedly felt that Davide’s statement was indirectly aimed at him since it came at a time when he was working for the LP-NP alliance.
Davide won easily in the first district in the 2010 elections when the LP did not field a candidate against Gullas. His margin was not enough to offset the huge deficit he had in the fifth district, however.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 10, 2012.