‘No blessing from Danding’
By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A MEMBER OF THE Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) said its merger with the Nacionalista Party (NP) that was upheld by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) did not have the blessing of NPC chair emeritus Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr.
In a press conference in Tupi, South Cotabato, General Santos City, Rep. Darlene Antonino Custodio said, “The merger is not official; this did not come from our chair emeritus so there is no order from the NPC to support Sen. Manuel Villar (NP standard-bearer) as of the last time I visited our headquarters.”
Custodio said that NPC members were not consulted about the coalition that was endorsed by party chair Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy Jr.
NPC members still believe, Custodio said, that they have a free hand in choosing their candidates.
Custodio said that most NPC members were for Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, making an NPC-NP coalition untenable.
In a statement, lawyers of the LP, the NP’s main rival, have asked the Comelec en banc to immediately release its formal decision on the NP-NPC coalition, stressing that “unnecessary further delay of the release of the allegedly already-signed resolution…may frustrate the right of the Liberal Party to take the appropriate remedy.”
The approval of the merger would allow the NP to wrest the dominant minority party status from the LP. The dominant minority party gets a coveted copy of the election returns and access to an electronic server on May 10.