Liberal Party (LP) President Francis Pangilinan on Tuesday disclosed efforts to reach out to other possible candidates in hopes of forging the “broadest coalition” ahead of the 2022 National Elections.
Among the personalities the LP, a few years ago the country’s most dominant party, had approached were Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Nancy Binay and Joel Villanueva.
“We have to come together, we have to unite, we have to have a clear direction,” Pangilinan said during a virtual press briefing.
“Imagine if Senators Lacson, Villanueva, Binay, Isko Moreno and VP Leni unite. Then the country could have a clearer direction,” he added.
Lacson has repeatedly expressed interest in running for president, but previously said it is “cast in stone” that if he decides to continue, he will have Senate President Vicente Sotto III as his running-mate.
If it pushes through, the Lacson-Sotto tandem is also most likely to go head-on with the LP after the Senate leader reaffirmed that Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) — which he chairs — remains allied with the administration.
Binay has denied plans to run for a higher office, citing the experiences of her family in the past. She made the statement after she was shortlisted by 1Sambayan coalition for its possible presidential nominee.
Asked if she will possibly join LP, Binay simply said: “There are wounds that need to heal before we discuss 2022”.
It is known that her father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, had a rift with the LP in the 2016 elections. The elder Binay then sought the presidency but lost.
Moreno, meanwhile, has yet to decide whether to seek a national position in the next polls.
Pangilinan described the talks as “exploratory”.
Other names likely to fill the LP slots are former Senators Mar Roxas and Bam Aquino. He also bared plans of seeking reelection.
“That is the plan. I have one more term. I’m on my first term, on my second round.”
The LP is the latest political party to reveal its plans after Sotto bared details of the NPC’s future on Monday.
Pangilinan reiterated the importance of uniting opposition forces for the next national elections and fielding a single slate to go against the administration bets next year.
“If (the opposition forces) will be in disarray, let’s say (there will be) six to seven candidates then the administration will win. They will win even with only 20 percent of their original votes,” he said.