Chiz, Loren, Grace snub UNA sortie for 3rd time

By Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2013 03:06 PM | Updated as of Feb 21 2013 12:22 AM

PAMPANGA - For the third consecutive time this campaign season, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) guest candidates Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda and Grace Poe, snubbed the coalition’s campaign sortie despite invitation from party stalwarts.

UNA Deputy Secretary General and senatorial candidate Nancy Binay said invitations were sent to the 3 common bets to join their sorties today in Pampanga.

Invitations were all sent for the UNA sorties in Zambales on Thursday and Bataan on Friday.

Some UNA candidates, however, are already showing disinterest in having the 3 in their roster. "Mas madali siguro kung siyam na lang kami. Yung tatlo, free for all na lang yun siguro,” Binay said.

Another UNA candidate, San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito, said they will leave it up to the leadership of UNA on what to do with Escudero, Legarda and Poe.

"May sarili kaming problema para problemahin ko pa yung ibang kandidato. Unahin ko na yung problema ko,” he said.

Binay said UNA founders former President Joseph Estrada, Vice-President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile have yet to decide on whether to drop the guest candidates for their continued non-participation in the party's campaign sorties.

"Cong[ressman] Toby will make the announcement on that," she said.

The names of Escudero, Legarda and Poe have been excluded from the stage banner and their names were not mentioned or endorsed during the rally.

Instability in LP-NPC coalition

Meanwhile, Binay said there is instability in the administration coalition after reports that the Nationalists People’s Coalition is bolting the Liberal Party-led coalition.

Binay said she believes they are a stronger coalition than that of the administration.

"Sa UNA kasi, we formalized our coalition. We are recognized by Comelec, compared sa kabila na walang formal coalition, kaya siguro di sila ganun katatag,” she said.

Senatorial candidate Ernesto Maceda said the NPC is a big loss to the Liberal Party slate considering the strength it has at the local level, with 35 incumbent congressmen and 20 incumbent governors.

"They are having problems in the local level. Kinakalaban kasi ng Liberal mga kandidato nila,” he said.

Who will get Kapampangan vote?

UNA spent the whole day campaigning around Pampanga, a vote-rich province considered to be the bailiwick of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Ejercito believes it is Team PNoy and not UNA that will suffer a greater backlash in this province come election day.

"Tingin ko Liberal. Sila naman yung ginagawang punching bag si GMA hindi kami,” he said.

Binay admitted that, like Cebu, his father, VP Binay lost in Pampanga during the last election,.

However, she still believes UNA has an edge over LP among the Kapampangans.

"Sa init ng pagtanggap sa amin dito, malaki ang pag asa na marami sa UNA ang mananalo dito,” she said.