MANILA, Philippines – The spokesperson of the Liberal Party on Thursday said common candidates Grace Poe, Senator Francis Escudero and Senator Loren Legarda have made their choice on which slate to join in the May 2013 election.
"Nag-desisyon na sila. They appeared sa proclamation rally, sa Batangas sortie, nandoon sila. Mamaya sa Laguna, kasama sila ulit. Tingin namin nag-desisyon na rin po sila na sasama sa amin," House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III told ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda".
"Mas mabuti sa kanila para at least maliwanag, yun nga, na 'di namamangka sa dalawang ilog. [Para] maging klaro din sa UNA rin at para at least hindi na rin sila aasa na masyado at derecho na tayo sa mga issue na dapat pag-usapan sa kampanya."
UNA stalwart and Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday hinted that his coalition might drop the three from their senatorial ticket if they will continue to snub their sorties.
Escudero did not send a proxy to UNA's proclamation rally in Cebu last Tuesday. Legarda sent her father Tony, while Poe was represented by her son Brian.
UNA Secretary General Tobias Tiangco scored Escudero for not practicing enough "courtesy" when the latter did not send any representative. The tarpaulin of Escudero on stage in the Cebu rally was also removed, and his video message was not played.
Escudero, for his part, said he respects Binay's statement, but reiterated that as an independent candidate, no party can ever dictate what he can or cannot do during the campaign season.
"Siyempre malaking kawalan iyan at labis naming ikinalulungkot subalit wala kaming magagawa kundi repsetuhin at galangin ang kanilang desisyon," Escudero said.
Asked why he opted to affiliate himself with multiple coalitions despite being an independent candidate, Escudero said: "Ang politics is addition. Malaking bagay ang tulong ng sinumang grupo o partido. Kasabay ng UNA, inadopt din kami ng Makabayan, in-adopt kami ng Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines."
"Sino ba naman ang magsasabing 'di namin kailangan ng kanilang tulong? Pasya at desisyon nila yan, wala kaming magagawa."