6 Senate bets from Nacionalista, NUP

By Rachel Hermosura, ANC

Posted at Apr 18 2012 10:01 AM | Updated as of Apr 18 2012 08:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines - They call themselves the National Unity Party (NUP), a group of former allies of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who left Lakas Kampi-CMD and formed their own political party months after the 2010 elections.

Speaking to "ANC Presents: Road to 2013", Reginald Velasco of the NUP said about 21 governors and 32 congressmen make up the new party.

"The decision was to create a new party rather than join another party or revive another political party. The decision of this group of congressmen and some governors is let's create a new party. Let's start from scratch," he said.

Velasco said the NUP is focusing on congressional and local elections. He named three possible Senatorial bets from their party: Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo and Nueva Ecija Rep. Rodolfo Antonino, who is the party president.

NUP's emergence comes just as the parties of Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph Estrada have formed the United Nationalist Alliance or UNA.

While UNA is openly scouting for possible senatorial bets and parties to ally themselves with, the Nacionalista Party has yet to decide if it will join UNA.

NP spokesman Robert Ace Barbers said the NP will remain a formidable party. "It's just that we were quiet because we'd like to do our homework first," he said.

He said the NP will have its own senatorial slate. He named 3 possible senatorial bets: former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and himself.

Both Barbers and Velasco said their parties are not closing their doors on coalescing with other groups.

"We welcome 'suitors'. We can be wooed," Velasco said.

Added Barbers: "Nacionalista Party is open to coalitions and alliances provided that this is a coalition not of personalities but coalition of programs, we share the same advocacy."