President Benigno Aquino III is not out to check if his allies in the provinces will support the entire administration slate in the upcoming midterm polls, his spokesperson said Wednesday.
In a phone patch interview, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda denied a statement from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the administration’s rival coalition in this year’s elections, that the President is already conducting loyalty checks on Liberal Party members on the ground.
“Wala hong loyalty check po na nangyayari ngayon. I think they’re just deflecting the issues right now on the performance of the Team UNA candidates vis-à-vis the Team PNoy candidates based on the surveys that have just been released,” Lacierda said.
He added that the President is satisfied with the performance of administration candidates in recent surveys.
On Tuesday, UNA campaign manager Tobias Tiangco came out with the statement accusing LP of being “jumpy and paranoid” in the last few weeks leading up to the elections. Aquino chairs the ruling Liberal Party.
“Loyalty checks are a sign of desperation and panic. Hindi nila kayang kontrolin ang mga leader nilang sumusuporta sa UNA,” Tiangco said.
He attributed the supposed “undue pressure” being exerted by the ruling party on its allies to Albay Governor Joey Salceda’s move to meet with UNA candidates in his province over the weekend. Salceda heads the LP in the Bicol Region.
Lacierda countered Tiangco’s claims by saying that the LP has “no reason to panic,” since it has the upper hand in the senatorial race based on pre-election survey results.
“Nagpa-panic ho kami dahil 9-3? Medyo baliktad ho yata ‘yung, ano, ‘yung kung sino dapat ang mag-panic. Siguro, ano na ‘yan, trabaho na lang po ng kabilang panig,” the President’s spokesperson said.
On Tuesday, Aquino said he still trusts Salceda, whom the President described to being “extra hospitable” to UNA bets who visited Albay last Sunday. — Andreo Calonzo/RSJ, GMA News