Sarado kandado! Opposition bets can’t join other slates
By Xave Gregorio
The opposition would like to keep things exclusive.
Liberal Party (LP) President Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said Thursday (October 4) that senatorial bets who would run under the opposition coalition slate in 2019 could only appear alongside other opposition bets, ruling out any possibility of their appearance in sorties of other lineups they may also be in.
While speaking about the senatorial candidacy of veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Pangilinan said that he cannot be included in other tickets and could only join other opposition candidates during the campaign.
“Basta ang importante ay maliwanag hindi siya magiging kandidato ng ibang ticket at titindig lamang siya sa entablado ng oposisyon,” Pangilinan said.
Aside from this, Pangilinan said candidates in the opposition slate would have to sign a commitment which states, among others, that they would uphold human rights and push for the suspension of the imposition of excise taxes on petroleum products.
Joining Macalintal in the list of LP’s senatorial candidates are Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, former Quezon 4th District Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III and De La Salle University – College of Law founding Dean Jose Manuel Diokno.
The four would stand alongside other bets in a coalition opposition slate, with candidates from Magdalo, Akbayan Citizens’ Party, Aksyon Demokratiko and Tindig Pilipinas.
Of the 18 names they bared as possible Senate bets, only Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano has confirmed his candidacy. Meanwhile, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, actors Dingdong Dantes and Agot Isidro have declined to run.
This is not the first time that a coalition led by the formerly ruling LP insisted on the exclusivity of their candidates.
In 2013, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) had to drop Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Grace Poe and Loren Legarda from their lineup as now-Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon prevented them from joining campaign sorties of UNA.