MANILA, Philippines – Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay on Tuesday gave her reaction to senatorial aspirant Grace Poe Llamanzares’ statement that she is uncomfortable with some United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) candidates.
In a statement, Magsaysay said she was not singled out by Poe as one of the UNA bets who remain allied with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“She didn't single me out as I am not the only ally or were allied with GMA. She only mentioned JV [Ejercito] and Nancy [Binay] as those who she's comfortable with as they are the ones who were never associated with GMA,” she said.
Magsaysay said it is unfair to just mention her and former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri as among those allied with Mrs. Arroyo.
“GMA and I may both belong to the minority in the House but it doesn't mean that we both have the same principles and stand on things,” she said.
Llamanzares, who is a guest candidate of both UNA and the Liberal Party, earlier admitted she does not agree with the inclusion of some UNA bets who continue to be identified with the administration of former President Arroyo.
“If UNA, in particular the ones running, will continue to be let's say identified with the last administration, so that I'm not comfortable. Even if you ask some of the people in UNA, they themselves are not comfortable,” she said.
Llamanzares said she entered politics to honor her late father, Fernando Poe Jr. The late actor ran for president in 2004 but lost to Mrs. Arroyo in an election allegedly marred by widespread cheating.
However, Magsaysay said she won as congresswoman in 2004 as an independent candidate, without being allied with Arroyo or Poe.
“I had no participation whatsoever in the presidential elections where she felt that her dad was vilified,” she said.
The lawmaker noted that it was actually the Liberal Party, including then Congressman Benigno Aquino III, who supported Arroyo in the 2004 election. Other LP members who supported Arroyo’s 2004 presidential bid were Sen. Frank Drilon, Secretary Butch Abad, Presidential peace adviser Ging Deles and Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman.
She said Drilon, Jun Magsaysay, Sergio Osmena III, Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto and Manny Villar all won Senate seats in 2001 under the administration ticket.
Mar Roxas, Rodolfo Biazon, Pia Cayetano and Richard Gordon also won in the 2004 senatorial election as administration candidates.
Magsaysay also pointed out what links 3 LP senatorial candidates to Mrs. Arroyo.
She said Loren Legarda won as a senatorial candidate of Lakas in 1998, when Mrs. Arroyo was still vice-president.
She said her own relative, Jun Magsaysay, “won as a senator in 2001 in the People Power Coalition of Mrs .Arroyo.”
Finally, she said President Aquino’s cousin, Bam Aquino, served as National Youth Commissioner during the Arroyo administration.
Bam’s father, Paul Aquino, was also the campaign manager of Team Unity in 2007.