Palace: We've moved on from 'Villarroyo' tag

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2012 02:35 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2012 02:52 AM

Defends LP's coalition with Villar's NP

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang defended the Liberal Party’s (LP) coalition with the Nacionalista Party (NP), the party led by Senator Manny Villar who was once given the tag “Villarroyo” by LP stalwarts during the 2010 presidential elections to indicate their suspicions that Villar was then President Arroyo’s “secret candidate.”
President Aquino described on Thursday as “very, very successful” the LP’s talks with Nacionalista Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition on the possibility of fielding a common senatorial slate for the 2013 elections. 
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the administration has moved on from the “Villarroyo” tag during the campaign, citing Villar’s support for some of President Aquino’s reform measures.
“Campaigning is campaigning. There were words that were exchanged during that time but we move on for the sake of the country,” Lacierda told reporters.  
“Senator Villar has been supportive—correct me if I’m wrong—of some of the admin measures in the Senate. They recognize what’s important for the country. They recognize what’s good for the countrymen. They will rise above political differences and see what’s good for all of us,” he said.
Lacierda added that parties can agree on principles and look beyond personalities.
“You’re looking at the Nacionalista Party and who will be there. You’re looking at Alan Cayetano who stood for good governance… Party principles transcend individual differences,” he said.
“There are principles which we can agree on.”
Lacierda denied that the vote of the NP senators to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona during the impeachment trial was a basis for the coalition. He cited the vote of Senator Bongbong Marcos, a Nacionalista Party member, to acquit Corona.
“The impeachment vote of each senator was done based on their individual deliberation and conscience so we cannot use that as a basis,” he said.
Lacierda declined to discuss further the coalition, saying he is not privy to matters about the alliance. He is leaving it to LP President Mar Roxas and LP official and Budget Secretary Butch Abad to discuss the details.