Binay, Erap join forces
Posted on April 04, 2012 07:04:32 PM
The political parties of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay have joined forces to form a strong senatorial slate in the 2013 polls, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.
oselito S.J. Salgado, a spokesman for Mr. Binay, said the parties have signed a coalition agreement forming the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), “but no final list of candidates for 2013 yet,” although some names have been dropped.
The consolidation of power is seen as a test of Mr. Binay’s political influence, especially since he has publicly expressed his intent to run as president in 2016. Mr. Estrada, on the other hand, has yet to announce his plans.
So far, Mr. Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Mr. Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) are the only members of the alliance, Senator Aquilino Martin “Koko” D.L. Pimentel III, a PDP-Laban party member who was at the signing, said in a television interview.
Other parties are welcome to join the coalition, he added.
An initial list of senatorial candidates includes names from prominent political families, said Mr. Pimentel, himself gunning for a senatorial seat under the UNA ticket.
The senator said San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor G. Ejercito, son of Mr. Estrada; Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr. (1st district), son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; and Jose “Joey” P. De Venecia III, son of former House Speaker Jose P. De Venecia will run under the coalition.
Some reelectionist senators such as Francis “Chiz” G. Escudero, Loren B. Legarda, Gregorio B. Honasan II and Alan Peter C. Cayetano are also members of the alliance, Mr. Pimentel said.
This is not the first time that Messrs. Estrada and Binay have worked together. The two were on the same ticket in 2010 when Mr. Estrada ran for president, with Mr. Binay as his running mate. Mr. Estrada, who was ousted from the presidency in 2001, lost to Benigno S. C. Aquino III.