MANILA, Philippines --- Team PNoy's fragile alliance with the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) only shows that the Liberal Party (LP)-led coalition is more focused on the 2016 presidential elections rather than supporting its senatorial slate for the 2013 polls, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said yesterday.
"They really don't care about their senatorial candidates since most of them are not true-blue party members," the opposition coalition's campaign manager, Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco, said in a statement.
LP's game plan for 2013, Tiangco said, is "to capture as many local posts as possible in preparation for 2016."
This explains why the LP not only fielded their own local candidates against NPC incumbents, but also "targeted key NPC incumbents for character assassination," the UNA official alleged.
Sixty local and congressional positions are reportedly being contested by NPC and LP members, 21 of which are held by NPC incumbents.
"They (LP officials) are more obsessed with the presidency in 2016," Tiangco said, pointing out that the statements of NPC officials Valenzuela Rep. Rex Gatchalian and Sen. Tito Sotto "all lead to the same conclusion: the coalition with LP is dead."
"All that is needed is the memorial service," he said.
Tiangco said UNA sympathizes with the NPC, "which entered into a coalition with LP in good faith but were the victims of arrogance and one person's 2016 ambition."
He was apparently referring to LP president, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who is said to be eyeing the presidency in 2016.
Roxas and UNA leader, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, are seen to figure in another fight, this time for the presidency, after their close vice presidential battle in the 2010 elections.
"It is the practice of honorable men to abide by the terms of any agreement. But it was apparent that the LP entered into a coalition with NPC with no intention of honoring its commitments. They not only fielded their own local candidates against NPC incumbents, they also targeted key NPC incumbents for character assassination," Tiangco said.
Sotto reportedly said that NPC incumbents who are up against LP bets will not campaign for the senatorial bets of the LP coalition but will support NPC senatorial candidates and those they consider "friends."
NPC leaders also reportedly said that while they support President Benigno S. Aquino III, "their local bets are no longer bound to support the senatorial slate of the LP."
Thus, the opposition coalition said the term "sinking ship" best describes the alliance between the LP and the NPC.
Tiangco used the same words Team PNoy spokesman and Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone used to describe UNA after it dropped Sen. Francis Escudero, Sen. Loren Legarda, and Grace Poe Llamanzares as guest candidates for their failure to live up to their commitment to attend UNA rallies.
"Not only is the LP a sinking ship, they are also a stinking ship of overripe 'balimbings' (turncoats)," he said, referring to the "shifting political loyalties" of Evardone and other LP leaders who were once "allies and defenders" of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.