LP mulls bets for 2013 senatorial elections

by Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Apr 26 2012 12:44 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2012 05:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - The Liberal Party (LP) is now finalizing its list of candidates for the 2013 senatorial elections, and some of those being considered are in the new coalition of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

In an interview with radio dzMM, LP stalwart and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr. said the line-up may include re-electionist senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

Also included is Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, “who has been supportive and consistently in touch” with President Benigno Aquino III,” he said.

LP, which is headed by Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas, will also try to form a coalition with the Nacionalista Party, which includes Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

“It’s a natural alliance that can be developed," Abad said.

Other possible candidates for the LP, according to Abad, are:

  • Justice Secretary Leila de Lima;
  • Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon;
  • Customs Deputy Commissioner Danny Lim;
  •  former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros;
  • Presidential Adviser on Environmental Concerns Neric Acosta;
  • TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva;
  • House Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada;
  • House prosecution spokesman Sonny Angara.

Hontiveros placed 13th in the 2010 senatorial elections. It was her first time to run for the Senate.

Escudero and Koko Pimentel are in the senatorial ticket of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the new political coalition of Vice-President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph Estrada.

Batanes constituency too small

Meanwhile, the budget chief said he will not run in 2013. “Di pa kaya ng Batanes na magpalabas ng senador," he said.

He added it would be better for him to just serve Aquino as budget chief.

Meanwhile, rumors are swirling that Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala may also join the senatorial race.

Pimentel: Why not coalesce with UNA?

Pimentel, in another interview with ANC, said he is “ecstatic” that his name was mentioned by the administration party.

He said, however, that he hopes Liberal Party will talk with the PDP-Laban and the United Nationalist Alliance for a possible coalition. Binay heads the two political groups.

“I think it’s time for UNA, PDP-Laban and LP to talk… I have been extending the hand to LP to join UNA,” he said.

Pimentel said there are no takers so far. “We should start talking to each other.”