Binay to form new political party

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

VICE President Jejomar Binay said Sunday that he is cutting ties with the Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Laban (PDP-Laban), now headed by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, after the two openly expressed disagreement on various issues.

In a television interview, the Vice President said he will launch a new political party that is expected to carry him as its presidential standard-bearer in the May 2016 elections.

The new political party will be introduced on June 12, Independence Day.

“While I do not like to have a split, we have to accept the realities. There are many instances, the leaders in particular, where we are divided in our affiliations during the time of elections. What happened in 2010, the agreement to join the coalition did not happen,” said Binay.

Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay
Vice President Jejomar Binay (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines)

In the 2013 midterm elections, Binay’s daughter Nancy won as senator under the opposition ticket, while Pimentel was with the administration-backed Team PNoy because his political nemesis, former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, was included in the senatorial slate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

UNA is a coalition between PDP-Laban and former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

“So as not to make things worse, our lack of unity inside the party, we need to consider that it is time to move on,” the Vice President said.

Joining him in the new party are his children, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, Makati Representative Abigail Binay, and Senator Binay.

He also mentioned Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao, Cebu Representative Gwendolyn Garcia, Parañaque Representative Gus Tambunting and Makati Representative Monique Lagdameo.

Binay’s strategy to put up his own political machinery is not new.

In 1991, then Defense Secretary Fidel Ramos formed Lakas ng Tao-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) when he lost the presidential nomination of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) to former House Speaker Ramon Mitra.

Ramos won the tightly-contested election over Miriam Defensor Santiago, who is now on her third term in the Senate.

Then Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo organized the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) in 1997 supposedly for her presidential run the following year but former Speaker Jose de Venecia convinced her to run as his vice president instead.

Arroyo bagged the second highest post in the country by a landslide.

Binay said he has not yet talked to Pimentel about his departure from PDP-Laban but maintained that his decision will be good for the party. He added that he would remain in coalition with UNA.

The Vice President is a member of Laban ng Bayan party headed by then Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., the slain father of President Benigno Aquino III.

Laban and PDP, then headed by Pimentel’s father, former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., agreed to merge forces in the late 1980s.

Decades later, Binay became the national chairman of PDP-Laban while the younger Pimentel is the party president.

When asked to comment, Pimentel said he has not spoken to Binay since last year although he respects the decision of the Vice President to bolt the party considering their misunderstanding over Zubiri.

Pimentel had an electoral protest against Zubiri, one of Arroyo's candidates in the 2007 midterm polls.

Zubiri resigned in August 2011 after reports came out that poll results in Maguindanao were rigged to favor Arroyo’s bets.

Arroyo is now facing electoral fraud charges before a Pasay City court. (Jun Sarmiento/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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