THE reported plan to have the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) registered as a new political party for the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay in 2016 could lead to the total pull out of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) from the coalition, according to Senator Aquilino Pimentel 3rd.
Pimentel, the current president of the PDP-Laban, has no intention stay with UNA once its officials decide to have it registered as a separate political party and will just retain PDP-Laban as an independent party.
“They can have UNA, but I’ll have PDP-Laban,” said Pimentel in a text message sent to The Manila Times.
Pimentel was reacting to Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s televised interview wherein he said that UNA officials are now planning to make UNA as an independent political party separate from PDP-Laban and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of Manila Mayor-elect Joseph Estrada.
UNA, which was formed last year in preparation for the 2013 midterm elections, is a coalition between PDP-Laban and PMP. It is led by Estrada, Binay and former senate president Juan Ponce Enrile.
UNA spokesperson lawyer JV Bautista in a separate interview admitted having no knowledge of the plan adding that the coalition’s executive committee has not yet decided or even discussed the matter.
He however sees no reason for them to register UNA as a political party because the Comelec already declared UNA as a dominant minority party prior to the May 13 elections.
“From a legal point of view there is no need to register UNA because it already has legal personality as a political coalition or party,” Bautista explained.
The UNA spokesperson also dismissed Pimentel’s earlier statements about the need for Binay to choose between UNA and PDP-Laban because he cannot serve two parties at the same time saying that the senator is mistaken.
Bautista insisted that UNA is composed of PDP-Laban and PMP which makes PDP-Laban and UNA one and the same and he cannot make the vice president choice between the two.
“But most likely that matter will be dealt with more decisively by the PDP in the coming days,” he added.
He noted that there are two possibilities that could happen in the PDP-Laban: One is that the party may decide to remove Pimentel since he ran under the Liberal Party (LP) coalition or Pimentel taking PDP out of the PDP-Laban alliance.
“He (Pimentel) may take PDP so that it would be a party by himself and few others, while the Laban Party will exist as a separate party,” he added.
Pimentel for his part said that such scenario could happen but it would be them that would be ousted from the party and not him.
“We are the once who founded the PDP-Laban, they (UNA) just joined recently,” the senator said.
He noted that if UNA is registered as a new political party it would exists separately from PDP- Laban therefore those who want to be with UNA can do so, while Pimentel will have the PDP-Laban.