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NP leaves 2 slots open for militants
In The Press Posted on November 29th, 2009.
THREE incumbent senators, an incumbent congressman, a detained military officer, a lawyer, and scions of political clans are among the senatorial candidates of the Nacionalista Party.
The party announced its senatorial candidates yesterday in a proclamation rally in Moriones, Tondo.
Tondo is the birthplace of NP standard bearer Sen. Manny Villar who declared a "revolution" against poverty and hunger.
"I stand here before you to declare a new revolution that will fight against poverty and free our countrymen from dire circumstances in their lives," Villar said at the proclamation rally held at the Macario Sakay Plaza, which is near the house where Villar used to live.
Villar also warned the people that not all those who trumpet change would offer real change.
"What kind of change would they bring? Do they really understand the plight of the poor?" Villar asked as he said those who are offering change may just be offering a change in leadership.
"Real change is not merely a change in presidency…it is enriching the lives of poor Filipinos," he said.
The NP senatorial candidates are Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago, Pia Cayetano and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.; Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos; Col. (ret.) Ariel Querubin; Adel Tamano; Susan "Toots" Ople, Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, Ramon "Mon-Mon" Mitra.
NP spokesman Rep. Gilbert Remulla said the party is leaving two slots for party-list Reps. Satur Ocampo (Bayan Muna) and Liza Maza (Gabriela).
Ocampo earlier expressed reservations because of the inclusion of Marcos of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan in the NP’s slate, said talks are continuing.
Militant lawmakers were among the human rights victims of Marcos’ father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos. Ocampo was arrested and incarcerated as a political prisoner in 1976.
Ocampo said he and Rep. Liza Maza (Gabriela) are not closing their doors to being part of the NP senatorial slate.
In an interview yesterday before he and Maza filed their certificates of candidacy as an independents, Ocampo said the NP platform of governance remains the closest to their platform, and they may not have any other choice but compromise.
"Wala ka nang magagawa… mutual accommodation na lang ang mangyayari diyan," Ocampo said.
Maza said this would not mean that they would be compromising their advocacies.
"Ang isang aspeto ng good governance ay accountability. Accountability ng mga nagdaan na at mga kasalukuyang gobyerno… (Pati) yung pagkuha ng hustisya para sa mga biktima ng karapatang pantao, kasama na ang panahon ng diktadurya," she said.
Villar and Legarda are scheduled to file their candidacies today.
Senator Pimentel, who recently quit the PDP-Laban, said he understands that the need for Mindanao representation in the Senate was the primary consideration in Villar’s decision to draft his daughter, along with Adel Tamano.
Gwendolyn Pimentel Gana, a lawyer, is president of the Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines, a network of residential care and pre-adoption service providers.
On the political plan of his son, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, the senator said Koko has opted not to run for senator in next year’s elections so he could to pursue his protest with the Senate Electoral Tribunal in connection with the May, 2007 senatorial polls. – JP Lopez and Gerard Naval