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Para solid! Nancy Binay wants UNA to back Senate ‘seatmates’ for 2019 polls

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By Xave Gregorio

Senator Nancy Binay is pushing for her party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), to endorse members of the Senate “seatmates bloc” who are eyeing re-election in the 2019 polls.

“May commitment na ako na ‘yung mga kasamahan kong seatmates na re-electionist eh kumbaga ipaglalaban ko sa partido na dalhin rin itong kandidatong ito,” Binay said over radio dwIZ Saturday (October 13).

Of the nine-member seatmates bloc, Senators Binay, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara are eyeing for a second term in the upper chamber.

All four of them, including Senator Grace Poe, may be backed by UNA, which Binay now heads, in next year’s elections.

Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV are also eyeing re-election next year, but it remains to be seen whether they would also receive UNA’s backing.

“Pwede pa din naman, pero kumbaga doon sa sure na sure na eh ‘yung kasamahan ko sa seatmates. Sa akin naman, I’m open din na dalhin si Senator Pimentel pati na rin si Senator Aquino,” Binay said.

Pimentel was once part of UNA when he geared for his second Senate run in 2012, but left after the coalition decided to accept Zubiri in its slate. Zubiri was once Pimentel’s bitter political rival, whom he accused of cheating him out of the Senate in the 2007 polls.

Pimentel instead ran with Aquino under the “Team PNoy” administration ticket backed by then-President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Binay added that UN and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, now headed by Angara, may be inking a coalition agreement soon.

“Madalas naming pong usapan ‘yan ni Senator Nancy at mga kasama namin sa seatmates. Like si Senator Joel [Villanueva] is also the head of his political group (Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption). And ‘yung ibang kasama natin may mga political associations rin sila like si Senator Migz [Zubiri] has a regional political party in Bukidnon, so ‘yun nagsabing tutulong rin siya,” Angara said in a separate interview on dwIZ.