• Palace pooh-poohs 2016 Binay-Arroyo coalition

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    Malacañang on Wednesday was unfazed by reported talks between Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance and Lakas-CMD (Christian Muslim Democrats) for a possible coalition in 2016.

    In a news conference, Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in next year’s presidential elections, Filipinos will vote for someone who also treads the “straight path,” the mantra of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    “As far as we are concerned and you know, it’s their decision if they do decide to join forces, the group of Vice President Binay and the group of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I mean, what do we have to say to that? I am not even part of their . . . I don’t think it is fair for me to comment. Kasi [You see] if I make a comment baka maging controversial pa [it may even become controversial],” Lacierda told reporters.

    “So it’s up to them . . . If they think it’s better for them, we wish them well. But again ultimately it’s the people who will decide on who will provide continuity to the reforms of daang matuwid [straight path],” he said.

    Binay has reportedly revealed that they are in talks with Lakas-CMD, the political party of Arroyo, now a congresswoman representing her native Pampanga province.

    Arroyo has been under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City for allegedly misusing funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office during her term.

    Her party is currently headed by Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., who has been detained in connection with the pork barrel scam.

    Revilla and Lakas-CMD are yet to declare their plans for the 2016 polls while Binay is expected to run for President.

    Like Arroyo and Revilla, Binay is also facing allegations of corruption.

    The previous ruling party, the Lakas-CMD fielded Gilbert Teodoro and Edu Manzano as its presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively, in the 2010 elections.

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