LP, Nacionalista may join forces for 2016

By Jun Elias, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 11 2014 09:23 AM | Updated as of Mar 11 2014 05:27 PM

AGOO, La Union – The administration Liberal Party (LP) and the Nacionalista Party (NP) may join forces for the 2016 presidential elections, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said yesterday.

“The coalition is ongoing. It’s not only surviving but also flourishing, and I’m hoping it will go into the future. Although we don’t agree 100 percent on all the issues, we are one in the basic principles of good governance,” Cayetano told The STAR after meeting with faculty members and students of the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University here.

He said the only thing that could break the coalition is the selection process for possible candidates.

“For example, if LP says they are in charge of selecting the candidates because they are in the present position and then NP says also we are in charge, then that will break us. So we need to agree in one process only like winnability, capability and qualifications,” he said.

Cayetano has already announced his plans to run for president in 2016.

He said he expects black propaganda against him following his early announcement. “Actually it already started, that’s part of our lives,” he said.

“That’s (political dynasty) a legitimate issue. There are good and bad dynasties,” he added on criticisms of political dynasty against his family.

Higher post for Bong

Saying the pork barrel controversy will not affect his chances of winning, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has not closed his doors to running for a higher position in the 2016 elections.

“Kailangan nating ipagdasal yan, pero (Need to pray but) I’m open,” he said.

He said he has nothing to fear about the pork barrel issue as he maintained that he has done nothing wrong.

Revilla is likely to be the standard bearer of the Lakas party.

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. of the NP has also indicated his presidential ambition while Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is reportedly being groomed to run as vice-president.

Sen. Grace Poe, who topped the senatorial race in 2013, said she is enjoying her post as senator, and any plan to run for higher office should be assessed carefully and diligently.

“It is too soon at this point. There are many others who are better and who also have the machinery to run a national campaign,” she said.

Chiz’s ‘big’ plan

Senator Chiz Escudero said he has not made any plan for the 2016 presidential elections but is focused on a “big plan,” which he pointed out will determine his future political career.

He declined to give details, but hinted that it involves his relationship with actress Heart Evangelista.

“I have a big plan but I want her (Heart) to be the first one to know about it,” Escudero said during the weekly Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel in Manila when asked if a wedding is forthcoming.

Not bothered

Saying the administration coalition formed for the May 2013 elections still holds, early posturing for the 2016 elections does not bother Malacañang.

Apart from LP and NP, the Nationalist People’s Coalition is also part of the coalition.

Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronald Llamas said the administration would still rely on the coalition in pressing for needed reforms. But he said only the President can talk about his “anointed one.”

“A lot of things will still happen in the next two years. The President is very focused on the reforms that he started, the change he wants to achieve. His success will greatly influence the 2016 elections and beyond,” he said in a text message.

Social media

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said politicians are expected to make a strong presence in social media, which would play a major role in determining who would win in the next election.

“It is entirely possible that the 2016 presidential and senatorial elections will be determined by social media,” she said during her speech at the Assumption College in Makati City yesterday.

“The crooked candidates are already hiring professionals to dominate and maybe even control the social media. But such is the power of social media that netizens will be able to beat the candidates with unexplained wealth and their criminal campaign contributors,” she added.

She cited the case of US President Barrack Obama who relied heavily on social media in gaining his popularity and even helped him win a Nobel Prize.

“Social media has changed the rules of the game. Anyone can participate in the extended debate to distinguish the truth from the propaganda of moneyed candidates,” she said.


Meanwhile, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA) executive secretary Fr. Edu Gariguez expressed disappointment that some politicians are announcing their plans for 2016 this early.

He said politicians should first set aside their political ambitions and work to bring development to the country.

“I hope that not politics of personality but politics of platform for transformation would happen. It seemed that our system has been stuck with the personalities… It is the same old story,” he added.

He also noted that Vice President Jejomar Binay and Cayetano, who have expressed interest to run for president in 2016, have other relatives in government.

“This is political dynasty. It is not right that only a few families have monopolized the political power… it would have been okay if they were really using the power to serve the country but that is not the case,” he said.

The CBCP official urged the public to elect people who believe that “public office is public service.” - With Aurea Calica, Marvin Sy, Christina Mendez, Perseus Echeminada, Evelyn Macairan