Tingting vows to deliver votes for UNA in Tarlac

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

TARLAC CITY, Philippines  â€“ President Aquino’s uncle and aunt on the Cojuangco side have vowed to deliver votes for the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in Tarlac.

Speaking to reporters in their residence at Hacienda Luisita, former lawmaker Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, UNA vice president, said he and his wife Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco, an UNA senatorial candidate, still have supporters in the province.

“I was congressman here for five terms,” he said.

“Tingting was governor for eight years. I think we have enough supporters who still believe in us.”

Peping said he does not believe in the concept of bailiwicks where political figures dictate upon the electorate.

“It’s not that the votes here are controlled,” he said.

“It’s a matter of the leadership of each individual. The people that have performed here, the people who have helped us are recognized by the province.”

Peping said it is not crucial for UNA to win in Tarlac.

“You know why? Because the people here know that UNA is not against P-Noy,” he said, using the President’s moniker.

Tarlac, the home province of Aquino, has about 700,000 registered voters.

UNA: Probe vote-buying

UNA asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday to investigate allegations of vote-buying of a non-government organization affiliated with the Liberal Party (LP) to back the senatorial candidacy of President Aquino’s cousin Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.

Toby Tiangco, UNA secretary-general and campaign manager, said Kaya Natin! Movement is a convenient LP front in influencing voters in the guise of distributing medicine and school supplies vouchers nationwide.

It is distributing gift cheques valued at P500 and P1,000, he added.

Tiangco said the distribution of gift cheques is rampant in Quezon City.

“This is a very serious issue because they are timing it with the local campaign and clearly there’s money involved,” he said.

Kaya Natin! Movement is endorsing four LP senatorial candidates: Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Risa Hontiveros, Aquilino Pimentel III and Bam Aquino, he added.

Tiangco said the founders of Kaya Natin! Movement are mostly identified with the LP.

“It is just proper to investigate it by the Comelec and look who is behind the organization,” he said.

Tiangco said Comelec commissioner Grace Padaca is Kaya Natin! Movement founding member, together with LP  Sen. Francis Pangilinan, former Pampanga governor Ed Panlilio, and Bam Aquino.

“The distribution of gift cheques by Kaya Natin only confirms the LP’s move to junk other members of Team PNoy and with particular focus on Bam,” he said.

Kaya Natin would not comment on the funding of the gift cheques nor the group’s decision to carry the names of the four bets from the LP-led coalition during distribution.

Allegations denied

Kaya Natin! Movement lead convenor Harvey Keh has denied Tiangco’s allegations in his Twitter account.

“This is a big lie, and I hope that Congressman Tiangco can prove this very malicious accusation,” he said.

“We challenge Congressman Tiangco to show us the GCs (gift cheques) which include the names of Team PNoy candidates.

“If Congressman Tiangco cannot show us the GCs which contain the names of Team PNoy candidates, I suggest he immediately resign as UNA campaign manager.”

Tiangco should just focus on campaigning for UNA candidates instead of spreading lies, Keh said.

 â€“ With Jose Rodel Clapano

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