UNA suspends talks, preps for 2022 polls amid pandemic threat

UNA suspends talks, preps for 2022 polls amid pandemic threat
Sen. Nancy Binay, chairperson of the Committee on Tourism, listens to officials from the airline industry as they reported a huge decrease in their flight sales due to the 2019 nCoV in this Feb. 11, 2020 photo.
Office of Sen. Nancy Binay / Released

MANILA, Philippines — The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party, led by Sen. Nancy Binay, said Tuesday that it is pushing back talks on the 2022 national elections amid the pandemic and rising COVID-19 infections in the country.

In a statement, UNA said it has decided to put talks on alliances, coalitions and other political activities on hold, citing the continuing pandemic and its impact on the economy, and the “unfolding of another wave of infections brought by new variants that may likely compromise public health and cripple healthcare institutions.”

UNA said putting elections talk on the table is "cold and insensitive." It added that politics is aggravating a public health issue and hampering the country’s response to the pandemic.

“For this reason, UNA has decided to suspend all talks in connection with the 2022 National Elections until further notice so that the Party can help and focus well in fighting the pandemic,” it added.

Metro Manila will revert to the strictest form of lockdown for two weeks starting August 6 as COVID-19 infections in the county continue to rise and amid the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay, party chairman, already announced that he will run for senator under the slate of Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, who are gunning for presidential and vice presidential posts, respectively.

Lacson and Sotto have also pushed back the official announcement of their 2022 candidacies because of the rise in COVID-19 cases.— Kristine Joy Patag

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