Bro. Eddie to consult party over UNA offer

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Feb 21 2013 07:31 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2013 03:32 AM

Makabayan's Teddy Casino says still no talks with UNA

MANILA - Jesus Is Lord (JIL) founder and leader Eddie Villanueva admitted he is being wooed by former President Joseph Estrada to join the slate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) or be adopted as a guest candidate.

In an interview with ANC, Villanueva said, however, that he has yet to consult the Bangon Pilipinas party executives, led by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno and former National Economic and Development Authority chief Cielito Habito, who fielded him as the party’s sole candidate in the May 13 senatorial elections.

He said he will decide within the week. “The invitation is an honor…but the Bangon Pilipinas also has its own principles.”

Villanueva said the party fielded him as its lone candidate based on a platform that pushes for inclusive growth for all Filipinos and for moral leadership, he said.

Villanueva said Estrada went to his home in Bulacan weeks ago and then called him up again last night, a few hours after UNA decided to drop senators Francis
Escudero and Loren Legarda and former MTRCB chief Grace Poe from its lineup.

He said Estrada was attracted to his platform for the poor, thus the invitation. “But the decision will be a collective decision,” he added.

Besides Villanueva, UNA also said Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn is being tapped as a replacement. UNA senatorial candidate JV Ejercito Estrada also mentioned the name of Makabayan candidate, Teddy Casiño.

In a separate interview with ANC, Casiño said he has yet to receive a formal invitation from UNA.

He said he does not know how “serious” the invitation is. “I will think about it first, depending on how serious they are.”

He said he knows the support of a coalition can help his campaign. “I already knew from the start running as an independent candidate will be difficult," he added.