MS 30th Anniversary XXX

UNA says Cebu rally ‘biggest’ in its history

CEBU CITY—The United Nationalist Alliance on Monday accused the administration of painting “doomsday scenarios” in the hopes of obtaining a 12-0 sweep as the opposition prepared for its proclamation rally in the country’s oldest city today. “It’s all systems go for UNA as Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will lead the proclamation rally in Plaza Independencia,” said the group’s secretary general, Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco. In Quezon City Monday, Binay said the UNA proclamation rally would be the biggest political event in the history of Cebu. “We are expecting of thousands of people from Cebu from all walks of life to join our proclamation rally,” Binay said in an interview. Binay said a 12-0 sweep, which the ruling Liberal Party coalition wants to achieve, would be a long shot no matter which party is involved. He said he preferred to be practical and hoped that a majority of the UNA candidates would win in the Senate race in May. This, he said, would enable the UNA to push its “magandang daan” (beautiful road) platform as a response to the administration’s “straight path” policies that have not reduced poverty or joblessness. In Cebu, Tiangco said the UNA would highlight the administration’s abuse of power, which he described as a form of corruption that results in poverty, the lack of jobs and a breakdown in peace and order. Tiangco also accued Liberal Party campaign manager Senator Franklin Drilon of using scare tactics to pursue his personal ambition to become the next Senate President. Earlier, Drilon said a peace agreement in Mindanao would be in peril if the administration did not enjoy an overwhelming majority in the Senate. “Senator Drilon is resorting to scare tactics by painting several doomsday scenarios,” Tiangco said. “He is using the President to pursue his personal vested interests.” He added: “Who doesn’t want peace? Why are they so scared that the peace agreement will fail if their candidates are not elected? If all stakeholders were consulted and no one was complaining about the infirmities of the peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, then there is nothing to be scared about.” He said Drilon did not want UNA senatorial candidates to win because he knew UNA would assert its independence. “UNA will scrutinize every law to be legislated by the Senate. We will ensure that the proposed measures would be beneficial to the public and will create jobs, bring food to the table and bring down the prices of commodities. UNA candidates, once elected will not just say ‘Yes’ to Malacanang unless the measures would benefit the poor,” he said. Tiangco said UNA chose Cebu as a “show of support” for suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and the people of her province. He also said the coalition is thankful for the overwhelming support the people of Cebu have given to UNA senatorial slate led by Nancy Binay, Margarita Cojuangco, JV Ejercito, Juan Ponce Enrile, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, Ernesto Maceda, Maria Milagros Magsaysay and Juan Miguel Zubiri. “UNA is very honored and proud to have its first rally in the province of Cebu,” he said. In a news conference, Nancy Binay said her father would never turn his back on a “friend in need.” “My father had gone through the political persecution that Governor Gwen is undergoing now. He believes it was but right to support a friend,” she said. The UNA senatorial bets will be joined on stage by Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and other party officials. From Cebu, the candidates will be traveling to Bohol on Feb. 13 for the second leg of their provincial sortie in the Central Visayas region. With Sara Susanne Fabunan
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