Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has signed a coalition agreement with the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President Joseph Estrada for the 2013 election.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president, said the agreement is the foundation of a new coalition, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
The two parties had in the past joined forces under an alliance called the United Opposition (UNO).
Binay, PDP-Laban chairman, has been inviting politicians to join UNA for the senatorial race.
Pimentel said the signing of the agreement would signal other political parties, politicians and local government candidates to join them in the coalition.
“The coalition ticket, under the Binay umbrella, is already overflowing, meaning it has more than 12 names on the list,” he said.
“That means the Vice President has to choose and trim the list down.”
A number of names have already cropped up as potential candidates of UNA for the Senate.
Some of them are Joey de Venecia III, the son and namesake of the former speaker; Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr., son of the Senate president; re-electionist senators Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan, Loren Legarda and Alan Peter Cayetano.
Another potential UNA candidate that Binay is pushing is former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, which Pimentel has opposed.
Zubiri resigned from the Senate in August last year, more than four years into his six-year term, just before the Senate Electoral Tribunal came out with the results of its findings into the electoral protest of Pimentel against him.
Pimentel was eventually declared as the official 12th senator in the 2007 elections after a long and tedious recount and reexamination of the ballots cast.
Pimentel said it was Binay’s idea to include Zubiri in the UNA senatorial ticket, but he has already made his thoughts about this known to the Vice President.
“Then I will just give him a frown,” he said. “I have my opposition to it. This will become a heated topic within the coalition.”
Pimentel said Binay probably feels that he has nothing against Zubiri, and that he did not commit any major wrongdoing against the nation.
“This is politics, why should you have permanent enemies,” he said. “That is probably how he (Binay) thinks.”
Pimentel said that he wants Binay to endorse him as senator but if he decides to take in Zubiri, he made it clear that he would not be campaigning with him.
“If he endorses me, thank you very much,” he said.
“If he endorses someone else, I don’t care about that anymore. But I don’t have to be campaigning with the other candidates he is endorsing.”