Team PNoy campaign manager Sen. Franklin Drilon yesterday denied that the win of the administration’s senatorial slate would guarantee the Senate presidency for Drilon.
Drilon, in res-ponse to UNA’s statement that Drilon wants a 12-0 win for PNoy candidates to ensure Drilon’s bid for the Senate presidency, said that elections are not about personalities but about platforms. “I will not dignify those statements because I am not a candidate. They are barking up the wrong tree. This is not about my personal ambition,” Drilon said in a press conference at the Team PNoy’s headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City yesterday.
He said the issue is whether they are for good governance.
“If they say otherwise, it’s up to them as long as they spell my name correctly,” Drilon said.
“Let us not waste the opportunity (to campaign) by talking about personalities because such move derails democracy. The problems at hand are poverty, lack of opportunities for our people. Mudslinging is traditional politics. Let us do away with it. This is a contest of who has the better platform. Those are the issues that the campaign managers and candidates should talk about,” TEam PNoy senatorial candidate Sonny Angara pitched in.
Drilon said that the Senate is an independent body which you cannot dictate upon.
But Drilon also claimed much earlier that he and President Aquino want his Team PNoy to make up the majority in the Senate so the Senate does not become “ungovernable” and will toe the President’s line.
With a majorty in the Senate controlled by the Palace, it is evident that Drilon would be getting the Senate presidency and would make sure that it becomes an adjunct of Malacañang.
“The Senate Presidency in the 16th Congress is a question that the senators will decide upon as an independent body. For all intents and purposes, it is the members of the 16th Congress who will choose the next Senate President,” Drilon said.
During the same press conference, Drilon admitted that political alliances in the local level cannot be perfect despite agreements between two or more parties as in the case of Team PNoy which is composed to the Liberal Party, Nationalista Party and the Nationalist People’s Alliance.
Drilon cited the case in Bacolod City wherein the LP and the NPC shared a common candidate for Mayor and Vice Mayor, but the said parties fielded a separate slate for councilors.
Last week, former Rep. Mark Cojuangco, NPC’s proviancial chairman for Pangasinan lambasted the LP for not honoring its agreement with his party.
Cojuangco, son of NPC founder businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, noted that the LP is fielding local candidates against NPC candidates. Cojuangco also noted that charges against incumbent Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino, who is a member of the NPC, is politically motivated. Espino is being linked to jueteng.
“The coalition is for national level. You can’t perfect alliances in the local. If we can resolve it, we will resolve it. It is a case-to-case basis,” Drilon said.
Team PNOy spokesman Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo said that coherence of platforms takes precedence over coherence of alliances.
“This is already my fourth election and there has never been a coherence of alliances. What is important is the coherence of support for the President’s agenda,” Angara pointed out.
“The coalition is based on platform, and the overriding philosophy is that this is not a coalition of for convenience. This is not a coalition for any future election, but for passing the difficult laws we need for reform. This (coalition) binds the parties in supporting the President. If there are problems, the coalition will prevail,” Quimbo added.
Former Rep. Cynthia Villar of NP, also of Team PNoy Senate ticket, earlier said that Cojuangco’s displeasure stemmed from too much expectation on the coalition forged. With Tribune wires
President Aquino is set to engage the services of Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin in the Cabinet with the specific task of making the Reproductive Health (RH) law succeed.
Aquino, in a speech during the inauguration of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Dam, in Iloilo, disclosed that Malacañang is readying Garin appointment to a cabinet post. Garin was one of the more vocal advocate and principal authors of the controversial Reproductive Health bill, the other was Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.
“Thank you, Congresswoman Janette Garin. Malapit na po namin ito irecruit sa Executive (branch) (Her recruitment in the Executive branch is being readied),” Aquino said.
Garin, in an interview, confirmed that the President had asked her to be a part of Aquino Cabinet.
She said that she was approached by the President to help in the implementation of the RH law, among other health advocacies of the national government.
“I’m very flattered that the President recognizes my work. I really didn’t expect that he will take notice. It is a compliment. I hope I will be up to it and help the administration,” Garin said.
Garin, a doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, said she could either be joining the Department of Health or the Department of Social Welfare and Development. She said that her task would be linking the national government’s health services to the local governments.
Garin then conceded that a lot of challenges lies ahead for the implementation of the RH law, considering that local government units still have fears that the RH law, which mandates the state to provide safe and effective family planning services including contraceptives, could promote abortion, immorality, increased sexual contact among youth, among others.
“There are these fears. And we have to step up our efforts in making them realize that these fears are not the truth, that the RH law will have a huge impact for the betterment of our younger generation’s health and education,” Garin argued.
“I hope I can help in this aspect, considering that I am a doctor and I understand the nuances of politics in the LGUs,” Garin added.
Thursday, 21 February 2013 00:00 Published in Headlines
Team PNoy took great pains yesterday to help its beleaguered senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal, who is hounded by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) allegedly for vote buying as a result of a contest in her Web site to give away expensive gadgets to prop up her campaign, with Madrigal’s lawyer even being given the benefit of a press conference at the residence of Liberal Party (LP) president Manuel Roxas II called Balay in Cubao.
Lawyer Ernesto Francisco said Madrigal could not be faulted by the Comelec for the campaign gimmick and instead pointed to unnamed volunteers “without Madrigal’s knowledge.”
Francisco, who was invited to the press conference of the Team PNoy yesterday said that Madrigal was not privy to the alleged promo.
The Comelec, nevertheless, said Madrigal may still be liable for vote buying through the contest in a social media page with an iPad as a prize despite its removal on the day that the Comelec called attention to it.
“Even though she has removed it, it was started,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said.
“If we find a violation, we will continue the case. (Madrigal faces) disqualification and possibly a criminal election offense,” he said.
Madrigal’s Facebook page held a contest on Feb. 14 where the public was invited to complete the sentence “corruption is bad because…” with an iPad as a prize.
The post indicated that the contest would end on March 12 and the winner will be announced on March 15.
“I think no prize has been given yet so the act has not yet been consummated. But we are not yet done checking, we are still verifying if there is a case to file,” Brillantes said.
“She didn’t know about the promo and she has no intention to violate the law. She immediately ordered its removal from her social network,” Francisco told reporters covering the campaign yesterday.
Francisco, speaking for Madrigal, said that if indeed the alleged promo came out in social media networks, the senatorial candidate had ordered her volunteers to take them off the site.
Team PNoy spokesperson Rep. Miro Quimbo of Marikina said Madrigal could not be held liable for something that is not in the Omnibus Election Code.
“There’s no specific rules on social media right now; it’s a new venue for campaigning; no specific ruling or jurisprudence. There are many grey areas, nothing is clear by way of ground rules,” Quimbo said yesterday.
Quimbo and Francisco shared the view that there is a big possibility that national candidates may not know what their supporters are doing.
Francisco said the incident is being investigated to make sure that it would not happen again.
He said that there are no IPads coming from Madrigal that are going to be given away.
Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, for his part, explained that in a national campaign glitches do happen.
During the same press conference Tañada and Quimbo said that there is now a need to review the election code and amend the law to include “gray areas” such as those in the social media which is a new mode of a campaign venue.
“I need to stress that social media is a venue for campaigning. It’s entirely a new terrain. It’s something that has not been used so actively as much as it is being used today. And we need to be able to harmonize our election laws so that candidates as well as supporters get a clear picture on how we can use this,” Quimbo said.
“And we appeal to everyone to give some leeway as far as it is concerned,” he said.
The Comelec said yesterday it is reviewing a Web site of an administration candidate for senator over possible violation of campaign rules on vote buying through a game which promises an expensive gadget as a prize.
Brillantes said Madrigal may be disqualified (DQd) if proven guilty of vote buying.
Madrigal, in a prepared statement, apologized to the Comelec for the controversial sponsoring of an iPad raffle contest in her Facebook and Twitter pages.
“My Facebook, which is linked to my tweeter (sic) page is run by young volunteers and avid fans of my anti corruption advocacy. In their zeal to promote clean governance they saw nothing wrong with promoting the advocacy for anti corruption,” she said in a statement.
“I extend my apologies to the Comelec for what my youth volunteers may have done which the Comelec may perceive to be a violation of election rules,” she added.
Madrigal, an official candidate of the Team PNoy slate, said she immediately asked her volunteers to “remove the site” after Comelec cited the alleged violation of a senatorial candidate for sponsoring an iPad giveaway.
She said she gave strict instructions to the volunteers to be very vigilant in observing election rules and laws.
“I would like to assure everyone that this incident will not happen again,” she said.
Madrigal said she believes in a democratic and transparent way in administering social media, adding that this is the best way to interact with her fans and the public.
“As such my FB is open to all my volunteers and fans who join me in promoting the values of ‘tuwid na daan’ in fighting corruption and pushing for good governance,” she said.
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