MANILA, Philippines - The most vocal supporter of the Aquino-Binay tandem during the 2010 elections believes the 2 main factions within the administration are no longer relevant.
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, one of those who coined the term “NoyBi” in the last presidential elections said: “Tingin ko irrelevant na sa puntong ito yung Samar at Balay, matagal nang hindi nababanggit yan at wala nang bangayan…”
His call for an Aquino-Binay tandem later revealed a deeper schism within the camp of then-presidential nominee Benigno Aquino III.
Balay group refers to the Liberal Party, led by then-vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas.
The Samar group, on the other hand, was Aquino’s campaign team at Samar Avenue in Quezon City. It pushed for Binay as vice president.
The power play between the two supposedly surfaced again after the Department of Interior and Local Government post became vacant following the death of Sec. Jesse Robredo.
The appointment of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., believed to be a member of Samar, supposedly did not bode well with the other faction. Rumors later surfaced that the Balay group lobbied for the post.
Roxas eventually got the post. Another LP member, Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, took over Roxas’ position as Transport secretary.
Escudero, who remains mum on whether to join the ruling LP or Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance, said Roxas’ taking over the DILG should not be made an issue.
“Nakita naman kung gaano nagkakaisa at nagtutulungan ang mga miyembro ng gabinete lalong-lalo na nong panahong may matinding pagsubok na humarap sa bawat isa sa kanila,” Escudero said, referring to the plane crash that killed Robredo.