Elections is just around the corner

WITH the Comelec’s approval of the merger of PDP-Laban and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) into the UNA political coalition for the May 13, 2013 elections, the coalition can now field its senatorial and local candidates; however, the bickering between Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and former senator Miguel Zubiri, both members of the coalition, has yet to be resolved.

Earlier, former President Joseph Estrada turned down the demand of Pimentel to remove Zubiri from the senatorial line up.  He has always been consistent in defending Zubiri, saying that the former senator did not participate in electoral cheating but was only a beneficiary thereof. He also went to the extent of disclosing that the coalition has investigated Zubiri and that the latter was found to have performed well during his stint as senator.

Pimentel, likewise, has consistently manifested his aversion to the inclusion of Zubiri in the UNA slate. To date, he stands by his conviction to wage war against electoral cheats and to push for his advocacy on electoral reforms.

Seemingly, the UNA coalition would prefer losing Pimentel than dropping Zubiri. The Pimentel camp accuses the UNA leadership for showing preference towards Zubiri who, accordingly, has contributed a large sum of money for his inclusion into the slate. This accusation was hastily denied by the UNA team, explaining that by virtue of his being a PMP member, Zubiri could automatically became part of the slate and that this fact is not hidden from Pimentel.

Despite his opposition to the inclusion of Zubiri, Pimentel said he could not easily leave UNA which he and the party of former President Estrada formed.  He said he could not understand why Zubiri, who participated in electoral cheating, and who once tagged UNA leaders as cheats, would be favoured over him by UNA.

Pimentel, who if faced with two options — to leave UNA and join the Liberal Party coalition only for purposes of the May 13, 2013 elections, or to remain with UNA and share the stage with Zubiri – has to make a decision as soon as possible so that UNA can complete its line up because, as the proverbial idiom says, elections is “just around the corner.”

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