Loren says she’s no political butterfly
Senator Loren Legarda on Wednesday denied perceptions she had been hopping from one party to another after she allied herself with Nacionalista Party’s Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., whom she previously criticized before agreeing to be his vice presidential candidate last year.
In an interview on radio dzBB’s Ikaw na Ba? The Vice Presidential Interview with anchor Mike Enriquez, Legarda said she remained with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) despite its coalition with Villar’s Nacionalista Party (NP).
“I was with Lakas in 1998. In 2004, I ran as [an] independent with FPJ, with the help of the NPC. Until now, I’m with the NPC. I did not transfer to the NP and I’m not hopping from one party to another. What happened was a formal coalition between my party and the NP,” Legarda said in Filipino.
Legarda ran for senator in 1998 under the administration’s Lakas-NUCD-UMDP party, receiving the most votes (more than 15 million).
Erap impeachment trial
In the impeachment trial against former President Joseph Estrada in January 2001, Legarda staunchly criticized the ousted leader. She also favored the opening of the controversial “second envelope” supposedly containing incriminating evidence against the former president.
Estrada’s supporters then labeled Legarda as the “crying lady” because she was seen weeping when the former president’s allies in the Senate won in voting not to open the controversial envelope.
Ironically, in 2004, Legarda shifted her loyalty to the opposition and became the running mate of actor Fernando Poe Jr., the candidate Estrada backed.
The tandem lost to administration bets President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and then Senator Noli de Castro.
In 2007, Legarda remained with the opposition and ran as a second-term senator. She topped the race, receiving more than 18 million votes.
Shifting allegiance to Villar
In her second term, Legarda was among Villar’s critics.
On Nov. 17, 2008, Villar resigned as Senate president amid rumors that his colleagues were intending to oust him over the C-5 Road Extension controversy. After he resigned, 14 of his colleagues voted to install Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile to the position. Legarda was among those who voted for Enrile. [See: Villar resigns as Senate prexy; Enrile takes over as new chief]
In Wednesday’s interview, Legarda defended her previous moves and said it was only normal for colleagues to disagree on certain issues.
“Hindi naman ako bumabatikos kay Manny. Sa lahat naman ng 23 na senador, hindi naman parating nagkakasundo (I’m not criticizing Manny. Not all 23 senators agree all the time),” Legarda said. — Sophia Dedace/RSJ, GMANews.TV