LP reaching out to Lacson, Villanueva, Binay, Moreno to build âbroadest coalitionâ for 2022 polls
This composite photo shows Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Sen. Joel Villanueva, Sen. Nancy Binay and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Senate PRIB/Albert Calvelo | The STAR/Geremy Pintolo | Office of Sen. Nancy Binay/Released | The STAR/Edd Gumban

LP reaching out to Lacson, Villanueva, Binay, Moreno to build ‘broadest coalition’ for 2022 polls

Bella Perez-Rubio (Philstar.com) - June 22, 2021 - 1:18pm

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 5:10 p.m.) — The Liberal Party is "making efforts to reach out" to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Sen. Joel Villanueva, Sen. Nancy Binay, and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno, to form the "broadest coalition possible" ahead of the 2022 polls. 

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, LP president, said this to reporters Tuesday, adding that the politicians are being considered alongside Vice President Leni Robredo who is LP's chairperson and has long been expected to be its presidential bet next year. 

"We are open to discussions and we are open to talks with the end in view precisely of having one candidate for those who believe that we have to provide a new direction," Pangilinan said. 

"There's Sen. Lacson, Sen. Villanueva, Sen. Binay, Isko Moreno, Vice President Leni, can you imagine if they all come together?" he added in Filipino. 

Robredo was one of six nominated by opposition coalition 1Samabayan as a candidate for either president or vice president and has said she is open to running for the presidential post.

Binay, however, has said she will not be seeking a higher post next year. 

Lacson, in a statement coursed through his office, noted that this is "not the first time" that the LP has reached out to him and that he has "always responded with an open mind." 

"As far as the Liberal Party it is work in progress," he said. 

"I guess it’s the scheduling and other factors that are the reason why we have not yet sat down [to discuss] - until the 1Sambayan coalition emerged, with public pronouncements that tend to divide rather than unite," he added partially in Filipino. 

Lacson has ruled out running with 1Samabayan, declining to be one of its candidates for 2022. He has also said that he would only run for president with Senate President Vicente Sotto III, acting chairman of the Nationalist People's Coalition, as his vice president.

But Pangilinan cautioned against having several opposition candidates run next year, emphasizing what he called the administration's significant advantages. 

"If there is division, if there are six, seven, eight candidates, then the administration with all its resources... even if it only has 20% of the vote, it can win," he said in Filipino. 

The senator further cited the case of former President Fidel Ramos, an administration candidate who won the 1992 elections by a slim margin after running against six candidates. 

"Hopefully, the broadest unity... coalition that is united and has a clear direction, that will be the key to our salvation," Pangilinan said. 

Manila City Mayor Moreno has said he is open to running for a national post next year but has ruled out supporting a presidential candidate from a political dynasty. 

Sen. Villanueva has not discussed any plans to seek a higher post in 2022. His father, House Deputy Speaker Eddie Villanueva, is among 1Sambyan's nominees for the country's two highest posts. 

President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is currently topping polls and is expected to run in 2022 although she has yet to confirm and has previously denied any plans to seek a national post next year. 

The elder Duterte has been urged by his party, the ruling PDP-Laban, to run for vice president next year and has said he is "resisting" calls to do so. He similarly shunned running for the presidency in 2015 only to eventually throw himself in the race and win. 

Villanueva ‘honored’ to be considered but remains tight-lipped about 2022 plans

Villanueva in a statement released by his office later Tuesday said he and his party, the Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC), are open to forming coalitions with bigger parties.

He thanked Pangilinan and Sotto for considering him, the latter of which has said that the NPC is looking to push Villanueva to run for the Senate again in 2022.

The statement notes that Villanueva met with Duterte just last week and that he is "honored and blessed" that he and CIBAC are being considered by three major parties as potential allies and coalition members.

"Like the various groups that meet with us, I believe that we are united by our mission to lift our people from the scourge of the pandemic. This is the most important thing for us today, to overcome this pandemic," he said in Filipino.

"The reality is that no matter how big your party is, you never walk – or work – alone. It is always good to march with a lot of good people. That is how progress is made.”

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