By Joyce Pangco Panares | Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:01am
The Liberal Party said Friday the United Nationalist Alliance only had themselves to blame if their three adopted candidates were not joining their sorties and were sticking with Team PNoy.
LP member and House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said UNA was being wracked by defections this early because of “its lack of a coherent platform of governance.”
“The three common candidates of Team PNoy and UNA, namely Senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero and Grace Poe[-Llamanzares], appeared at the launching of Team PNoy at Plaza Miranda instead of going to Cebu for the UNA proclamation rally. That speaks volumes about what they think of UNA,” Gonzales said.
“The campaign is just a day old, and UNA is already talking about disciplining some of its candidates.”
Gonzales made his statement even as Vice President Jejomar Binay said they were still studying whether or not they would drop Legarda, Escudero and Llamanzares from UNA’s senatorial slate.
He asked the public to give them time to decide on the issue.
“We’re still studying it,” Binay told reporters.
“Please give us time.”
Team PNoy spokesman Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo said the three common candidates would be enjoying the full support of the administration alliance “regardless of what actions UNA takes.”
UNA campaign manager Toby Tiangco said Escudero, Legarda and Llamanzares must not leave the opposition hanging on whether or not they would be joining their sorties.
“If we are not important to them, then they should say so and not leave us hanging. They should not have the best of both worlds. It’s unfair to us especially our solid UNA candidates who are campaigning hard in the provinces,” Tiangco said.
Llamanzares sought an audience with former President Joseph Estrada Wednesday last week and with Vice President Jejomar Binay on Sunday.
Llamanzares asked that her son Brian be allowed to stand in for her at the Cebu rally, to which Binay agreed.
Legarda, for her part, sought an audience with Estrada on Feb. 11 and sent her 80-year-old father as proxy.
In Escudero’s case, Tiangco said, “basic etiquette, respect and courtesy dictate that if you cannot make it to an important event where you are expected to attend, you should send a proxy.
“The one who invited you need not request a proxy. He could have sent his mother who is a candidate in the district of his late father.”
Tiangco said if Escudero, Legarda and Llamanzares wanted to campaign exclusively with the Liberal Party, they should say so and decide now and not leave UNA’s leaders and supporters hanging.
He said UNA had given the three much leeway. He said Poe and Legarda had made a commitment to attend future UNA rallies and sorties.
He said they even moved the start of Tuesday’s rally to 8 p.m. to give them time to catch a plane to Cebu after the LP rally in Plaza Miranda.
“But their recent statements and actions have left UNA no recourse but to ask them to make a public commitment to join UNA events,” Tiangco said. With Sara Susanne D. Fabunan and Gigi Muñoz-David
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