Palace: UNA should define itself-A A +A
Monday, July 16, 2012
MALACANANG said on Monday that the newly formed United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) should first define itself before considering an alliance with the administration's Liberal Party (LP).
UNA over the weekend floated the idea of forming a "super senatorial slate" with candidates coming from its party and LP.
Asked about this possibility, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the party formed by Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada should first define itself whether it is an opposition or an ally.
"UNA has to describe itself first. Obviously, we can describe LP as the administration party. But as to UNA, they have to describe themselves. We will not be defining them. They should define themselves," Lacierda said.
"I thought UNA was the 'team to beat' so why are they asking for a coalition with the LP? I am just wondering," he added.
He refused to comment on the possibility of LP forging a coalition with UNA, saying he would leave the matter to the administration party's leadership.
Lacierda declined to confirm the possibility of adopting candidates who will be fielded by UNA, particularly Senator Gregorio Honasan.
"As Secretary (Florencio) Butch Abad has already mentioned, there will be a coalition slate. As to who will be the senatorial candidates of that particular slate, let's wait for the announcement from the Liberal Party," he said.
Meantime, he admitted that there have been discussions by LP secretary general Abad to include Senator Francis Escudero, who is included in UNA slate, as guest candidate.
Lacierda said the decision on who will fill up the senatorial slate of LP lies on the hands of President Benigno Aquino III and Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the party's chairman and president, respectively.
For his part, Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang said the Palace is not aware of "any extensive talks" between LP and UNA.
"The idea has been floated -- both privately and in the media -- of a Liberal Party-UNA coalition. I'm sure you've heard about it. I mean, you're reporting on it so the idea is certainly being floated. But there has been nothing that I can say beyond that," he said.
But he cited that the administration party would be open to any coalition for as long as the party agrees to lead within the advocacy of the Aquino government.
"This administration is committed to certain reforms: anti-corruption, anti-poverty, strengthening of our defense and all of those things. If the Liberal Party is going to go into coalition with anybody, they must sign on to those reforms. They must be prepared to help us achieve the agenda of President Aquino," he said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)