• UNA as a political party? Pimentel foresees complications

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    THE leaders of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) are considering registering the opposition coalition as a political party.

    Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said there are plans to have the UNA registered as a political party and Rep. Toby Tiangco, UNA secretary general, is spearheading the preparations.

    Estrada however said he, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator-elect Jose Victor Ejercito Estrada will remain members of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), a party formed by former president Joseph Estrada, now mayor-elect of Manila.

    “I belong to the party of my father. I was not a candidate last elections. I am not a member of UNA,” Estrada said in a interview on ANC television.

    UNA is a coalition of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) of vice president Jejomar Binay and Estrada’s PMP. It was formed in preparation for the 2013 mid-term elections and fielded nine senatorial candidates.

    Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, PDP-Laban president, was originally in the lineup but he joined the administration coalition after UNA leaders included resigned senator Juan Miguel Zubiri in the slate.

    Pimentel said having UNA as a political party different from PDP-Laban could have some complications, since Binay cannot serve as an officer of two different parties.

    He added that the Vice President will have to choose between UNA and PDP-Laban.

    But Tiangco criticized Pimentel for thinking of divisive and unnecessary politics.

    “If Senator Koko thinks that the first thing on his agenda as a re-elected senator is his standing in a political party, then he can go to the Comelec to file his grievance. Or he can bring it to the attention of the party leadership if he feels a need to do so,” Tiangco said in a statement.

    He said Pimentel’s concern over his own standing in the party seems too petty, detached and self-absorbed.

    JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA

     

     

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