Friday, February 8, 2013

Aquino party to punish members backing opposition bets

Party discipline" awaits the members of ruling party who will support candidates outside its ticket in the 2013 senatorial elections. Senator Franklin Drilon, campaign manager and vice chairman of the Liberal Party (LP), expressed intent to punish members in order to ensure a 12-0 win in the May mid-term polls. "We are prepared to discipline our ranks in order that everybody will support Team PNoy," Drilon said. The veteran senator issued the statement after Vice President Jejomar Binay's United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) claimed it has "silent supporters" from LP. Related story: PNoy to play ‘very active’ role in administration campaign for 2013 polls UNA secretary-general and campaign manager Tobias "Toby" Tiangco, for his part, named as an example Quezon City Rep. Boyet Banal who he said is supporting the senatorial bid of San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito. Tiangco said there were also incumbent officials and known LP stalwarts who have been backing UNA candidates. LP members were dismayed by the decision to support only Team PNoy candidates, Tiangco said. Also read: Who's in top 12 of Senate race? Banal clarified, however, that his personal political preferences will not in any way affect his commitment to LP. He also explained that what he said to the media was his personal opinion and "should not be taken to mean that he is sacrificing one candidate of the coalition for his personal choice." "I am a loyal party member and a good soldier. I believe in the platform of the LP, a party I joined in 2002, even before i first ran for public office in 2004," Banal said in a statement. "I am strongly committed to campaign for the entire slate of the administration coalition," he added. Related story: PNoy on UNA: They have a lot more to prove than us Drilon meanwhile said that aside from party discipline, Team PNoy is hoping for a straight-ticket win in the midterm polls by having the President personally campaign for the coalition bets. This, as he insisted that there is nothing questionable or irregular about Aquino's move to actively campaign for Team PNoy candidates. The senator also assured that their party will be open to answer accusation that the chief executive will be using government resources for the campaign. "We will answer all of their questions (about public funds) but remember, the president is our political leader and it is his duty to campaign for his candidates, who will help him with his programs," Drilon said.