MANILA, Philippines - Leaders of the Liberal Party (LP) and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) may have announced their separate slates for the May 2013 elections but on Friday night, they were in the same “party.”
President Aquino, who heads the LP, was with UNA stalwarts former president and Manila mayoralty candidate Joseph Estrada, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile at the ballroom of the Makati Shangri-La hotel to celebrate the birthday of Enrile’s chief of staff Gigi Reyes.
Among those invited to attend, The STAR Mons Romulo said she noticed Aquino and Estrada went out of the ballroom for a private chat.
Others present during the party were Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and some senatorial candidates including Sen. Loren Legarda, former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares, former senator Richard Gordon, San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo and his wife, Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad, who is seeking a congressional seat.
There were no immediate details as to what Aquino and Estrada had discussed but the former president said he congratulated the President for steering the country towards economic growth.
“We talked for a few minutes. I congratulated him for the growth of the economy. He was happy about it,” Estrada said.
Estrada said Aquino is also glad that his trust ratings increased in recent surveys.
“It was just a very short talk,” Estrada said.
The former president claimed he did not talk politics with Aquino during the party on Friday night. – Jose Rodel Clapano