The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) is already claiming advantage over Team PNoy, just three days in the official campaign period.
Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada predicts the administration coalition will eventually break down after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the Liberal Party (LP) is not a registered coalition.
Led by LP, the administration coalition eventually fashioned itself as Team PNoy that is composed of LP, Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), and the Akbayan Citizens' Action Party (Akbayan).
“The Comelec said their coalition is not official. So UNA is first (coalition). We are the first to declare a coalition and they will trail behind if they manage to formally form one,” Estrada told reporters.
UNA was formed after Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) coalesced with Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).
Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay said the announcement is a big blow for senatorial bets who joined the LP-led coalition to get President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s endorsement.
Magsaysay, a first-time senatorial candidate running under UNA, said the administration coalition’s failure to get Comelec's nod will make it hard for their rivals to introduce themselves to the voting public.
“They have to work individually (or into small groups) according to their party (affiliations). Their commercial cannot be aired anymore because it’s under Team PNoy,” Magsaysay told reporters.
“They cannot do that unlike us, we can use ‘Sa UNA, gaganda ang buhay’ and that’s an edge. We are branded as a group, which they don’t,” she added.
Earlier, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Team PNoy can no longer shoulder candidates’ advertisements aired via radio or television.
This means, Brillantes explained, Team PNoy is no longer qualified to finance their senatorial bets’ campaign expenses.
“They are not entitled to a political party’s advertisements, which means if three LP and NP candidates will appear in an ad, we will charge it to all the parties involved,” Brillantes said.
Section 9 of Resolution 9615 states that in cases where two or more candidates are exhibited together in the broadcast election propaganda, “the length of time during which they appear will be counted against the airtime limits allotted for the said candidates.”
The provision also states that “the cost of the said advertisement will be considered as their expenditures” regardless of who paid for it or whom it was donated for.
For her part, Magsaysay explained that what happened to administration coalition shows the lack of foresight coming from the campaign managers, strategists, and leadership of the LP.
“Despite the fact that their administration coalition, they did not have the foresight to be prepared in this election,” she explained.
“It shows that ‘Team PNoy’ was only an after thought when they realized that the Liberal Party (branding) wouldn’t click with the masses,” she pointed out.
She noted that the case highlighted the wisdom and the experience of three key leaders of UNA – Binay, Estrada, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
“That's the advantage of UNA. We see wisdom and experience has been be the name of the game in this election and we are realizing that our leaders are wise and experienced in politics,” she explained.
“Even if you say that the sister cities are allied with LP, they might be liberals but it cannot supercede the bond, time and effort our leaders have established in help nurturing the masses,” she added.