• Binay won’t ditch UNA in new party


    Vice President Jejomar Binay will keep his ties with United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) for the 2016 Presidential polls even if he will form a political party ahead of schedule since his supporters are already crowding him.

    Rep. Tobias Tiangco of Navotas, the UNA Secretary-General, made the disclosure after Vice President Binay announced that he will be bolting his party, the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban, over differences with party leader, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd.

    UNA, a coalition between the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino of former President Joseph Estrada and Binay’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban, was formed for the 2013 midterm elections and fielded a Senatorial slate against the ruling Liberal Party’s Team PNoy slate. Pimentel ran under Team PNoy slate.

    “In 2016, our coalition will still be UNA. UNA will be composed of the PMP and the new political party of the Vice President. We will have it accredited as a coalition again before the Comelec because the composition has changed from 2013 polls.” Tiangco said.

    Tiangco was referring to the time wherein former President Estrada sought Presidency again in 2010 and enlisted then Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay as his running mate. Estrada eventually lost the Presidency to then Senator Benigno Aquino 3rd by at least five million votes, but Binay pulled off an 11th hour win over then Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd.

    The Estrada-Binay partnership, however, was not very smooth-sailing since Estrada was caught on camera not voting for Binay during the May 2010 election day.

    And just recently, Manila Mayor Estrada and Binay as the housing czar were at odds again on the proposed conversion of the Central Market in Sta. Cruz, Manila to a grocery with parking.

    Tiangco, however, dismissed such disagreements between the two politicians as a phase that is certainly over.

    “The disagreement is over. We can’t separate from UNA because PMP has been the partner of the Vice President since 2010. Why would we leave UNA behind? Of course, we still need them,” Tiangco pointed out.

    Tiangco then noted that the Vice President was forced to form his political party a year earlier since a handful of politicians have already expressed support for the Vice President’s 2016 Presidential bid.

    “We originally planned of organizing the new party by 2015, but in his trips to the provinces and even flow of those paying him courtesy calls in Coconut Palace, there were a lot who already expressed support to the Vice President and take oath in allegiance to him. We can’t keep these people waiting pending the formation of the party,” Tiangco argued.

    “We are taking it one step at a time. We are still looking for founding members and individual members. We will talk to all parties, see if these people showed good performance and are being of service to their constituency,” Tiangco added.

    Rep. Abigail Binay of Makati, the Vice President’s daughter, did not mince her words that the new party is the launchpad of her father’s Presidential run in 2016.

    “If he makes a move, it would be in furtherance of his aspirstions for 2016. I don’t think he will do something that would be bad for his end goal,” the younger Binay, currently a member of PDP-Laban, said in a separate interview.

    “If he leaves the PDP-Laban, then I will go with him and the same goes for Senator [Nancy] Binay. It won’t look well if we are of the same family and yet we are from different political parties,” the younger Binay added in closing. LLANESCA T. PANTI


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