MANILA, Philippines - Former Tarlac governor Margarita “Tingting” Couangco confirmed Thursday that she was asked to join the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial slate by Vice-President Binay.
“The VP was very kind to me and he asked if I was interested,” she said in an interview on ANC.
Cojuangco, aunt of President Benigno Aquino III, said she is a long time member of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan party of Binay, along with her husband, Peping Cojuangco, and former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel.
She said she ran under the party when she was governor of Tarlac in 1992.
She also said she has never been a member of the Liberal Party of President Aquino.
Asked about her relationship with the President, she said: “My relationship with Noynoy is very wonderful. Close naman kami talaga. He lived in Tarlac for sometime and I don’t think anything can destroy that.”
Cojuangco refused to say if she is joining the UNA slate, saying that the coalition will make an announcement before October 1.
She also denied that her potential senatorial bid should be seen as defying the President’s own choices for senator.
“UNA is not against the president. We are running party versus party. VP Binay, Peping and myself – we are not against the President at all,” she said.
If she does run for senator, Cojuangco said she wants to concentrate on helping farmers as well as launch programs that instill family values at the barangay level.
She also said the Cojuangco family is not against land reform as long as the government gives out loans to farmers to buy farm implements and seeds.