NP being wooed by Noy for alliance
While talk is rife over an impending alliance between the Liberal Party (LP) and the Nacionalista Party (NP) for the 2013 elections, it apparently is the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) of former Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. with which the administration has managed to coalesce, and field common candidates in next year’s mid-term poll exercise.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III yesterday disclosed that the formal alliance of his party, NPC, with the LP is already “close to being a done deal, with few remaining kinks being ironed out.”
Sotto’s revelations, made during a radio interview early in the day, was reiterated by the Senate leader to reporters in a text message.
“It’s almost a done deal,” he said on the latest development involving his party as relayed to him by Cojuangco, the chairman emeritus of NPC.
The inclusion of the NPC of Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. in the coalition cannot be far behind, especially since the matter of the LP enlisting the NP to form an alliance has been repeatedly reported in the past, Sotto said. Sen. Franklin Drilon, in his recent interviews, confirmed talks on a possible merger between LP and NP although he did not go into details saying he’s not privy to the negotiations.
Sotto said the LP-led coalition ticket could also include the NP but not the pro-Arroyo Lakas-Kampi party headed by Sen. Bong Revilla.
While there are still some issues being worked out, Sotto said he’s more concerned about the inclusion in the Senate slate of some of his reelectionist colleagues, particularly Senators Loren Legarda and Gregorio Honasan, who have earlier been listed by the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) headed by Vice President Jojo Binay, former President Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. The alliance is made up of two parties, the PDP-Laban and PMP.
“Actually, my concern is not only of the two (senators) but three. First is that of Loren (Legarda) and Honasan because we are wooing him to be an NPC candidate and he said it’s okay with him if he will a guest candidate,” Sotto explained.
“So I would like to know what the party will do in the situation of Loren (Legarda) and Honasan and also, Sen. (Francis) Chiz (Escudero). He is a comebacking NPC candidate,” Sotto said.
It is not known whether Escudero has again joined the NPC, since he had announced in 2010 that he has resigned from the NPC, as he wanted to be partyless.
It is speculated that Escudero will be running under the administration party.
NPC leaders still have to deal with the situation of Legarda who has been invited to run under the UNA.
Legarda is said to be eyed as a “guest candidate” along with Honasan and Escudero who are “independents” in UNA, even if NPC is not part of UNA.
Under the coalition “covenant” of UNA, it will only accept candidates formally aligned with either PDP-Laban or PMP.
“The ideal situation, for me, is if these three reelectionists (Legarda, Honasan and Escudero) will be included in the administration-led coalition’s senatorial ticket,” Sotto said.
But the majority leader said he will not force the issue in the negotiations with the LP as a condition in sealing the partnership with NPC.
“If they will not accept (the three in the LP-led ticket), they (three senators) can run as independents and for sure they will still win in the polls,” he said.
Sotto said he and Cojuangco had already discussed the matter and are scheduled for another meeting anytime soon to confirm the finality of the alliance.
“There are still some details being ironed out. Just a few, but it’s close to being a done deal,” he said.
In another political development, the LP, the political vehicle that gave Noynoy Aquino a free ride to Malacanang Palace is said to have found an unlikely ally in the NP, by Sen. Manny Villar, who was earlier considered as Aquino’s political rival, and when, during the 2010 presidential elections, accused the LP as having been behind the dirty personal attacks against him.
At the Agri Machinery Roadshow in Pasay City, Aquino himself announced what he described as “very, very successful” talks, broadly hinting that the LP has finally sealed an alliance with the NP.
Aside from Villar-headed Nacionalistas, Party President and concurrent Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas likewise got the NPC to become part of the rainbow coalition seen fielding a common senatorial lineup for the 2013 midterm elections.
“I think the talks were very, very successful. But I will leave it up to our party president Mar Roxas to make the appropriate announcements,” said Aquino.
As such, the President is left with only six of the 12-man senatorial slots in which he fields LP candidates, while Villar’s NP would likely be accorded with three and two for the NPC.
Villar for his part gets to pick three from NP stalwarts who had earlier expressed intent on joining the costly senatorial political fray.
Among NP’s top senatorial picks in time for next year’s midterm election includes Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, former Surigao Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, and Villar’s spouse, former Las Piñas City Rep. Cynthia Villar.
NPC is expected to field re-Escudero and Legarda, who topped a recent survey on senatorial favorites.
As it is, Aquino will have to brace for imminent defection amid difficulties seen on how he intends to fit in party mates, who have not just hinted interest to form part of the President’s ticket but were also said to have started burning significant funds to Aquino, who has been seen in many occasions tagging along his first four preferences for inclusion in the LP slate, will have to pick six from among Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director general Joel Villanueva, Quezon Rep. Erin Tanada, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Movie and Television Review Classification Board chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares, former Akbayan partylist Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and the latest addition in the pool of potential LP candidates in the person of presidential namesake, look-alike and cousin Paulo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.
The 12th slot is believed to be allotted for PDP-Laban’s re-electionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel.
Except for Baraquel and Trillanes, all the names that are being floated as potential LP senatorial candidates for the 2013 midterm election, share one common denominator — everyone seemed to be second generation politicians enjoying the advantage of a name recall.