Will LP-NP coalition go all the way to 2016?
The 2016 presidential election is two years away, and the political landscape is already being reviewed for possible coalitions, one-party strategy, and likely candidates.
The current coalition of the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the dominant Liberal Party (LP) still holds but the forthcoming 2016 presidential election is a different matter.
The comment comes from Sen. Cynthia Villar, wife of former Senate President and NP President Manuel Villar. Asked to explain her comment that the “2016 presidential election is a different matter,” Villar said this meant “it’s time to review if you still want to coalesce (with the LP).”
She made the assessment as the posturing of probable presidential bets in the presidential election has begun.
Time To Review
“Review time iyon kasi okay naman ngayon pero I think before 2016 magre-review if they want to continue with the coalition or we want to be on our own. Or we want to coalesce with somebody else, open yon,’’ she explained.
The LP, NP, and the Nationalist People’s Coalition of former Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco coalesced in the 2013 senatorial elections.
The LP’s strongest bet is Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II.
In the NP, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter S. Cayetano has indicated that he is interested in seeking the presidency if the party chooses him. He had said: “Don’t count me out.”
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, on the other hand, has cut off his political umbilical cord with the PDP-Laban party founded by former Senate President Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr.
Binay is looking for a political party or is thinking of forming a new party to be his launching pad for the presidency.
The split was caused by Binay’s disagreement with Pimentel’s son, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, current PDP-Laban president. The disagreement was over the young Pimentel’s refusal to team up with former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri in the 2013 senatorial election under the banner of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
UNA was founded by Binay, former President Joseph Estrada, and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
In 2011, Zubiri surrendered the remaining two years of his six-year term to Pimentel, who had worked to unseat Zubiri with charges of electoral fraud.
In answer to a question if NP is open to coalesce with Binay, Villar said that it is a possibility. “But I can’t answer for them … I don’t know… we haven’t thought about it,” she said.
Asked how the LP is treating the NP, the former Las Piñas congresswoman replied: “OK naman. As far as I’m concerned, OK naman. Ewan ko sa iba. Wala naman akong problema sa lahat (It’s OK. I have no problem with the others).
Senator Villar said former Senate President Villar has an open mind on party mates who may want to run for the presidency or to seek reelection for membership in the 24-man Senate.
She mentioned Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. as a possible reelectionist.
Villar said Sen. Pilar Juliana “Pia” would not seek reelection in the 2016 senatorial elections as the Constitution prohibits senators from seeking a third consecutive term.