Opposition war erupts: Ping calls colleagues ‘political mongrels’
- Christina Mendez () - July 21, 2007 - 12:00am

Two days before the start of the 14th Congress, Sen. Panfilo Lacson is already calling his colleagues in the opposition “political mongrels,” in what is seen as a full-blown war within the ranks of the opposition in the Senate.

Lacson lashed out at fellow Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero and Senate President Manuel Villar Jr. for agreeing to coalesce with other senators who are perceived administration allies.

“No matter how much they try, political mongrels can never buy political pedigrees,” Lacson said in a press statement that came a day after the United Opposition (UNO) held its national assembly at the Club Filipino in San Juan.

 Lacson was apparently peeved with what he described as “the political sniping of erstwhile allies in the Genuine Opposition (GO) who helped administration senators compose the new majority bloc in the Senate.”

“No matter how the four stragglers of the so-called Genuine Opposition try to define their breed, they won’t be able to present an authentic certificate to disabuse the minds of our voters and supporters,” Lacson said, apparently referring to the four senators.

A mongrel is a dog of mixed breed and considered to be less valuable than one that is pure-bred or pedigreed.

Lacson is the only senator who won under the GO banner who did not attend the UNO assembly. Loren Legarda and Antonio Trillanes IV sent their representatives.  

Even GO’s Koko Pimentel and Sonia Roco were present to manifest their continuing support for the opposition even if they lost in the May 14 polls.

Unfazed by Lacson’s tirades, Escudero maintained that he would remain with the opposition after critics accused him of jumping ship when he pledged support for Villar’s bid for the Senate presidency. 

Escudero, Cayetano and Estrada closed ranks the other day during the UNO assembly, with Escudero crying foul over the tirades hurled against him for joining the working coalition between administration and opposition in the Villar-led Senate.

Escudero said he chose not to answer such accusations, which were hurled last week, because of two reasons: first, because former President Joseph Estrada requested him not to, in Estrada’s desire to keep the opposition intact; second, that as much as possible, he wanted to avoid bickering with fellow opposition members.

“For those who accused me of turncoatism, please allow introspection. Who is the real opposition? Those who do nothing but criticize and accuse fellow oppositionists thereby dividing the bloc? Or those who choose to keep their silence first and who carefully choose their words in their desire to keep the group together?” Escudero said.

ALAN PETER CAYETANO CAYETANO AND ESTRADA CLUB FILIPINO FRANCIS ESCUDERO AND SENATE PRESIDENT MANUEL VILLAR JR. GENUINE OPPOSITION KOKO PIMENTEL AND SONIA ROCO LACSON OPPOSITION
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