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Opposition cracks early

During Trillanes’ previous stint in the Senate, he led a two-year probe into the alleged corruption of Binay and his son, Erwin

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A deep fissure is beginning to show among the opposition groups and no less than senatorial aspirant Antonio Trillanes IV is willing to expose it.

Trillanes, a former senator, admitted entertaining reservations with the inclusion of some personalities in the opposition’s Senate slate, but said he is willing to run with them — if only to ensure the victory of Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2022 presidential race.

In a statement posted on social media, Trillanes disclosed that he had expressed his negative sentiment over the inclusion of former Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Richard Gordon in Robredo’s 11-man slate during private consultations with her team.

“To be clear, I was not part of the selection committee which chose who will be part of the Senate slate…I expressed reservations, but ultimately, I told them that I defer to them in deciding what is best for Vice President Leni’s campaign,” he said.

“Magdalo’s number one mission is to make Vice President Leni win,” Trillanes said, referring to his political group, which also seeks representation in the Lower House.

During Trillanes’ previous stint in the Senate, he led a two-year probe into the alleged corruption of Binay and his son, Erwin.

The Court of Appeals later ruled in June 2019 that Binay’s son was guilty of charges in line with the construction of a building in Makati Science High School, which was among the projects investigated by the Trillanes at the Senate.

On the other hand, Trillanes and Gordon filed ethics complaints against each other in 2017 when the former accused the latter of clearing President Rodrigo Duterte’s men in the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs.

Trillanes, Binay and Gordon were listed under the Senate slate of Robredo and her running mate, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan.

Reelectionists Joel Villanueva, Miguel Zubiri, Risa Hontiveros, and Leila de Lima were also included in the Robredo-Pangilinan partial lineup, alongside former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, and lawyer-book author Alex Lacson.

Robredo’s alliance with personalities across the political spectrum, including those who had rivalries, was the opposition’s latest attempt to broaden its base and increase its chances of winning in the next year’s elections.

 

Word war

The opposition, however, faces a major roadblock at present as the word war between Trillanes and the Makabayan bloc continues.

In a separate tweet, Trillanes stepped up his attacks against the Makabayan bloc for allegedly failing to endorse Robredo’s presidential bid in favor of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, saying the progressive group is “very natural at lying.”

“We are not purists and exclusionary, but we need our allies, at the very least, to pledge unconditional support for the Vice President in case she wins the presidency,” Trillanes said.

“As far as I know, everyone included in the Senate slate did that. Makabayan didn’t,” he added.

In a separate instance, the former lawmaker cut into the series of conversations Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño was having with his Twitter followers.

Casiño was explaining that Makabayan has yet to publicly support the presidential bid of Robredo or Partido Lakas ng Masa bet Leody de Guzman since talks with personalities are still ongoing.
“I am amazed by your group when it comes to lying. It’s very natural,” Trillanes told Casiño on Twitter.

He also admitted that he had opposed the inclusion of former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares in the Senate slate of the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem because of Makabayan’s refusal to declare its support to the vice president.

Robredo earlier said that her team is still in the process of selecting another senatorial hopeful who will join her slate, adding the said candidate should represent the marginalized sector.

She added that either Colmenares or labor leader Sonny Matula of the Federation of Free Workers will be chosen for the 12th slot in her lineup.

Meanwhile, contrary to speculations, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will not run for president in the next year’s elections as a substitute candidate for either PDP Laban or Lakas-CMD, senatorial aspirant and former Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. said.

The former Cabinet official claimed that it is “unlikely” for the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte to run for president in the 2022 polls.

In the first place, Teodoro stressed, Duterte-Carpio did not make any commitment to seek the presidency next year.

“The several announcements (that she will not run), I believe, from the start. From the first announcement when she said she wasn’t interested and the most-telling statement is that she wanted to run free and independent, a feeling which actually resonates with me, too,” Teodoro said.

WITH MICHELLE GUILLANG

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