Salceda’s presence at UNA sortie draws mixed reactions from Team PNoy

April 29, 2013 11:42 pm 

LUCBAN, Quezon, April 29 – The decision of Liberal Party regional chapter president and Albay Gov. Joey Salceda to join a recent Bicol campaign rally of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) drew mixed reactions from senatorial bets of the ruling coalition Team PNoy.

Former senator Jamby Madrigal said the action of Salceda shows that democracy in the country is working well even as she expressed hope for Albay governor’s endorsement.

”You know, we have democracy and every politician has his own decision. It’s difficult to judge but I think the judgment of the people is more important. Let’s (allow) Bicolanos (to) decide on May 13,” Madrigal said in a media interview after wooing Quezon province voters in a campaign sortie here.

Madrigal traced her roots in Ligao Albay, hoping her accomplishments in the 14th Congress would be considered by Salceda and the people of Bicol region.

”If he will support me, I would appreciate it because I’m also from Bicol and I know that Bicolanos vote first (for) their fellow Bicolanos before anybody else,” she said.

Madrigal said the closeness of Salceda with Vice President Jejomar Binay might have prompted the governor to show up in the UNA’s sortie and announced that he will vote for Binay’s daughter Nancy for senator.

”Perhaps because Vice President Binay is his close friend, he exercised his right to vote freely. Anyway, he said that he will not endorse her (Nancy Binay). So read between the lines,” Madrigal said.

On the other hand, former senator Ramon ‘Jun’ Magsaysay Jr. felt that Salceda should have considered first his position as LP regional chapter president for Bicol before joining UNA sortie.

”The idea of being the head of the regional (chapter) of the LP, (appearing in the opposition campaign sortie) does not look nice. He made it more personal rather than a national party level. He has an additional responsibility as the head of LP in Bicol region,” Magsaysay said.

Magsaysay, however, believed Salceda’s action would not jeopardize the chances of the Team PNoy to win in Bicol region.

”It is a setback more for him than for us because we are consistent. He is the one deciding on it as a party official, the issue is on him, not ours (sic). It has no effect on us. The freedom is with the voters,” Magsaysay said.

”That does not show party discipline, does not show a good example as a party leader. That is a distortion to the good intention of the President (Benigno Aquino III),” Magsaysay warned.

Another Team PNoy senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros said she respects the pronouncement of Salceda even as she promised to work hard to become No. 2 again in Albay province.

”We respect that kind of pronouncement but we will continue our campaign nationally and I’m expecting big win in Albay,” Hontiveros, who finished No. 2 in Albay but No. 13 nationally in 2010 senatorial race, said.

For his part, Team PNoy guest candidate Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III said like Team PNoy campaign manager Senator Franklin Drilon, he also respects Salceda’s decision.

”Actually I’m just a guest candidate of the LP-led coalition so we will just accept their decision, the LP leaders. Let the LP mechanism take care of the situation,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel is the president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) which coalesced with Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) to come with opposition UNA.

PDP-Laban is chaired by Vice President Binay while PMP is headed by former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

Team PNoy’s another bet Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara said he would rather hear first Salceda’s explanation.

”I think we have to hear his side. He could have just been there as a matter of courtesy to the second highest official of the land,” Angara, son of outgoing Senator Edgardo Angara, said.

Except for Pimentel, Madrigal as well as Hontieros, Magsaysay and Angara showed up in Lucban campaign sortie while Bam Aquino and Loren Legarda sent proxies.

Accompanied by Drilon and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, President Aquino endorsed the Team PNoy senatorial bets as well as the local candidates led by gubernatorial bet Alvin Alcala, son of Agriculture secretary Prospero Alcala.

Pimentel joined the Team PNoy in the afternoon campaign rally held at the Lucena City sports complex. (PNA)



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