• Aquino confirms rift between Legarda, Cayetano

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    By Catherine S. Valente Reporter

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    President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday confirmed a growing rift between re-electionist Senators Loren Legarda and Alan Peter Cayetano who belong to different parties but are running on the administration’s Team PNoy coalition ticket.

    In an interview, Aquino said that there has been an ongoing dialogue to resolve the issue.
    He noted that, both candidates agreed to set aside personal interests for the sake of people, saying that this election is for the people and not for certain individuals.

    “Sino ba ang makikinabang kung mag-aaway-away tayo dito sa team? So, I think all the candidates have responded to our appeals and together with the rest of the team; and they are conscious that itong pinaglalaban natin para sa tao hindi para sa indibidwal [Who will gain if we will fight each other here in the team? So I think all the candidates have responded to our appeals and together with the rest of the team; and they are conscious that what we have been fighting for is for the people and not for every individual],” he said.

    “Para sa ating mga kababayan, para sa buong sambayanang Pilipino and they were ready to set aside their personal interest for the sake of our people [For the sake of our countrymen, for the entire Filipino and they were ready to set aside their personal interest for the sake of our people],” he added.

    The President also admitted that he personally talked with Legarda and Sen. Francis Escu­dero, while Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd has spoken to Cayetano.

    Aquino added that he wants to ensure unity in administration coalition with less than a week before the elections.

    Asked if he still expects three of his candidates who have not made it in the surveys’ magic 12 to catch up, Aquino said that he will continue to rely on the support of his “Bosses.”

    Earlier, Legarda complained to the media that a fellow Team PNoy senatorial candidate had employed a publicist to conduct a smear campaign against her to dislodge her from the top post in nationwide preference surveys. The senator hinted that her rival was faring well in the surveys.

    While Legarda has not publicly named the candidate behind alleged efforts to malign her, some news reports speculated she was alluding to Cayetano.

    Legarda is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, while Cayetano belongs to the Nacionalista Party. Both groups are in coalition with the LP under Team PNoy.

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