MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Sen. Franklin Drilon sees no need to apologize to Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay for allegedly implying that she is not a real Magsaysay.
Speaking to ANC, Drilon said he never called the Zambales lawmaker a "fake Magsaysay." He said he merely announced that the Liberal Party is fielding former Senator Ramon "Jun" Magsaysay Jr. in the 2013 elections.
"I never called Mitos a fake Magsaysay. What I said was I endorse the son of former President Ramon Magsaysay Sr.. Ang tunay na Magsaysay, Ramon Magsaysay Jr. That's all I said," he said.
"May the best Magsaysay win," he added.
The female Magsaysay, who is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), took offense at Drilon's remark since it implied that she only married into the Magsaysay clan.
"The remark of Senator Drilon about the 'fake' Magsaysay is an affront to all married women. It just shows how low he regards his wife and sister-in-law," she said.
Asked if he should apologize to Magsaysay or other married women, Drilon said: "My wife never considered that an affront. My wife didn’t ask for an apology."
In the interview, Drilon said he personally approached former senator Magsaysay and asked him to come out of retirement.
He said Magsaysay has good chance of winning because of his track record in the Senate. Magsaysay led the Senate investigation into the P728 fertilizer fund scam.
Drilon said the former senator asked for time to think about the decision and assess his own finances.
He said Magsaysay also gave assurances that his health is OK.
No pure LP slate
Drilon, meanwhile, said the Liberal Party will need to forge coalitions with other political parties for the 2013 senatorial elections.
"There are a number of coalition possibilities. The reality is we cannot have a pure LP slate. We do not have a monopoly of talent so we will be coalescing with a number of political parties," he said.
He declined to say which parties the LP is planning to approach, saying that the parties must also be supportive of President Aquino's programs.
Drilon mentioned 4 people who are shoo-ins for the LP slate:
- former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros;
- TESDA chief Joel Villanueva;
- Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara, and,
- Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.
Other names being considered for the LP slate are Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada and former Senator Jamby Madrigal.
Drilon said he has not spoken to his party-mates about the inclusion of the President's cousin, Bam Aquino, in the LP slate but noted that he is very qualified.
He also said he has not spoken to Sen. Koko Pimentel after the latter bolted the United Nationalist Alliance. Budget Secretary Butch Abad earlier said President Aquino is open to including Pimentel in the LP slate.