Alliances not just for 2025 elections

COMMONSENSE - Marichu A. Villanueva - The Philippine Star

The alliance of the ruling Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), the party founded by the late Tarlac Rep. Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., is only a formalization of the standing ties with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (PBBM). NPC chairman, erstwhile Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III underscored in our weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum last Wednesday.

Sotto along with the rest of the NPC party leaders joined PBBM – as PFP’s nominal chieftain – in the ceremonial signing of their alliance pact with the PFP last May 19. The PFP and NPC alliance came a week after PBBM also witnessed the signing of their party alliance with the Lakas-Christian-Muslim Democrats (CMD) headed by Speaker, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

On the other hand, Sotto served as Senate president during half of the term of 17th Congress under a term-sharing agreement. Sotto got re-elected as Senate chief and served the entire term of the 18th Congress until he graduated from his second and last term at the Senate. Now 76 years old, Sotto earlier announced his plans to make a comeback in next year’s Senate elections.

“I and also my party (NPC) are always been in alliance with President Marcos. It is just a continuation of allegiance of our friendship,” Sotto cited. Sotto and Marcos were together at the Senate from 2010 to 2016.

Sotto disclosed the NPC leadership received an invitation last month from PFP president Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. for a sitdown meeting to discuss a possible “alliance” with NPC. PFP national deputy director-general John Ortiz Teope confirmed that it was upon the instructions of PBBM to the PFP secretary-general Tom Lantion “to strengthen” the party through alliances with other political parties.

Teope recalled PBBM gave these the instructions to Lantion in his presence while spelling out “Alyansa Para sa Bagong Pilipinas” as the theme of his administration’s battle cry in the forthcoming May 12, 2025 mid-term elections.

Joining Sotto at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum, Teope hastened to clarify that the alliances being forged by the PFP with major political parties are not for “convenience” but in pursuit of PBBM’s goal to move the country forward in unity of purpose and vision. Teope described the PFP as a very young, grassroots-based organization, which was formally established as political party on Oct. 5, 2018. He counts most of their members come from the “grassroots,” or at the level of barangays whose like-minded leaders support “federalism” as a better system of government for the Philippines.

Teope recalled Marcos was then at the Senate when he quit the Nacionalista Party (NP) because other party wannabes also wanted to run in the 2022 presidential race. To which Sotto quipped: “I think it was a good move of the President to join the PFP because while the party is still young, the members are old. They have a track record of being in politics for quite some time.”

The PFP, Lakas-CMD, Hugpong ng Pagbabago of Vice President Sara Duterte, the Partido ng Masang Pilipino of former president Joseph Estrada and guest candidates from different political parties constituted the UniTeam Alliance during the 2022 national elections. The tandem of Marcos/Duterte won the polls by a landslide.

Sotto narrated the NPC was established as political party in 1992 for the presidential bid of Cojuangco. As one of the major political parties in the Philippines, the NPC chairman proudly points to many things they can bring to the alliance with the PFP in terms of support for “common candidates” in next year’s elections.

“We have five senators and 39 members in the House of Representatives, 5 party-list representatives in Congress. More are coming. We have 12 governors, 5 vice governors, 18 Sanggunian Panglalawigan members, 16 city mayors, 19 city vice mayors, 186 city councilors, 163 municipal mayors, 164 municipal vice mayors, and 1,212 Sangguniang Bayan members,” Sotto rattled off.

Sotto conceded, however, the NPC has yet to win the most coveted highest elected office of the land. “It is a big group nationwide. We have always been No. 2. Majority of our members are not old. From 1992, it is the only party that remained strong. But we have no elected President coming from NPC,” Sotto admitted.

Currently, from among the present five NPC Senators, one might get a crack at the next presidential race in May 2028. The five are, namely, Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero, JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Loren Legarda and Lito Lapid. Just last Monday, Escudero was installed as Senate president in a Senate coup he admitted having initiated against Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Escudero was voted to replace Zubiri by 15 of the 24-man Senate. But three of the five NPC Senators did not even vote for Escudero and stayed with Zubiri.

During the May 2016 presidential elections, Escudero was the Vice Presidential (VP) runningmate of Sen. Grace Poe. Both lost to former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo. While he was Senate chief, Sotto run the VP running mate of fellow Sen. Panfilo ”Ping” Lacson during the May 2022 elections but got routed by the Marcos/Duterte tandem.

A stepping stone to the next higher office, none of the past Senate chiefs ever got elected as President of the country. Teope recalled the only former Senate president who succeeded to be elected as Chief Executive was PBBM’s late namesake father, ex-President Ferdinand Sr.

Going viral in social media now is a college yearbook photo of a young political science student at the University of the Philippines with a caption about the graduate: “,..His one and only dream ever since childhood is to become President of the Philippines and follow the footsteps of his idol-Ferdinand Marcos. LOYALIST !!!”

Sought for his comment about this viral photo, Escudero replied to my query: “Hahaha…That’s youthful folly lang po (only).”

Turning 55 years old this October, the PFP-NPC alliance could very well be the platform of Escudero to turn his “youthful folly” into reality.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with