By: Mario B. Casayuran
August 27, 2009
Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III and the supporters of Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca should be allowed to push for their candidacies under the Liberal Party (LP), even for the presidential race.
Senator Francis ‘’Kiko’’ Pangilinan, an LP official on leave, made the suggestion as Sen. Manuel ‘’Mar’’ Roxas II, LP president, appeared dead set to run for the presidency as the LP standard bearer.
Former Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, LP chairman, had favored a Roxas-Aquino tandem.
Pangilinan earlier announced his intention to run as an independent for the vice presidency while Aquino has yet to decide whether to seek a higher elective post or continue to serve out his six-year term that ends in 2013.
The fight for the right to be chosen as the official LP presidential candidate is heating up as the Nov. 30 deadline for the filing of candidates for the 2010 presidential election approaches.
‘’Democratic processes should be upheld, and the widest participation of all party members should be observed in the nomination of the party’s standard bearers,’’ Pangilinan said.
‘’The party processes involving the membership, and not a few personalities, should decide on major issues such as the party’s standard bearers,’’ he added.
Pangilinan expressed his willingness to support either Padaca or Aquino if it would unite a true reformist agenda.
‘’What’s important is that a true reform agenda emerges. If it takes the candidacy of either Padaca or Aquino to achieve this, then I’m willing to support that,’’ he said.