Political realignment, new names to look out for in 2016

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2013 05:26 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2013 01:26 AM

MANILA - A political realignment is expected next year especially if the Supreme Court junks President Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), an analyst said.

"If it’s declared unconstitutional, there will be a realignment," political strategist Malou Tiquia said.

She said the realignment may even be felt soon after the July State of the Nation Address.

“Considering Congress is quite slow these days [and with only] four outputs this year, quorum will be an issue and it will be a problem if the Supreme Court rules on DAP," Tiquia said.

She said the Liberal Party already needs to look for a viable team-up for 2016.

“Once they have defined theirs, the opposition will realign [too]. The other flash point is that of the decision of the Ombudsman to file cases," she said.

Politicians are usually expected to draw their battle lines around the administration party as well as Vice President Jejomar Binay, who intends to run for President under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Tiquia said Binay will “just wait and see who will the LP bless and then select from those the LP will disregard.
One thing is sure, mababasag ang LP unless they agree on who has highest chance of winning.”

Tiquia said among the people to watch for in 2014 are:

Mar Roxas,
Grace Poe,
Francis Escudero,
Franklin Drilon,
Panfilo Lacson,

Joseph Estrada,
Leni Robredo,
Vilma Santos,
Bongbong Marcos,
Alan Peter Cayetano.

No more PDAF

Congress capped its first 6 months with just four laws passed --the Sangguniang Kabataan elections postponement, the 2013 supplemental budget, the extension of the emergency funds, and the 2014 national budget.

The quorum has been fluctuating at the lower House since lawmakers lost their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) over the pork barrel scam.

1BAP Rep. Silvestre Bello III said, "That's expected. The realignments happen always one or two years before the presidential election. That's been our experience. "

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, secretary general of UNA, said, "We're not even thinking about that. We're concentrating on how we can help those areas hit by calamities."

While the LP's House Speaker Sonny Belmonte leads a majority coalition at the lower House, the LP does not have the majority number there. It has less than half of the 289 congressmen. Its grip on the leadership has to be reinforced by partners in the Nacionalista Party, the Nationalist People's Coalition, the National Unity Party, the United Nationalist Alliance and some breakaway Lakas-CMD members.

The same is true at the Senate, where the LP has to rely on a coalition to install Senate President Franklin Drilon.