MANILA, Philippines – Nacionalista Party (NP) members contemplating higher posts in 2016 cannot expect financial support from the party.
This is according to Senator Cynthia Villar, wife of NP president Manuel Villar Jr.
"Wala namang pera ang NP (NP doesn't have money). We will give the support of our political members in the provinces but in terms of financial [support], wala namang pinag-usapang ganoon ang NP (there is no discussion about that within NP)," Senator Villar said on Thursday, July 3.
"Usually when you run, you raise your own funds. You don’t ask that from your party," she added.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has declared he is running for vice president whether or not he gets party support.
Two other NP senators – Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Alan Peter Cayetano – also expressed interest in a possible presidential or vice-presidential run.
Trillanes and Cayetano have nothing to lose if they run for higher posts. They won in the 2013 senator elections and their terms won't expire until 2019.
On the other hand, Marcos' term is expiring in 2016. He ranks third in the latest Pulse Asia senatorial survey, indicating a good chance of re-election. But his numbers in both presidential and vice presidential surveys are dismal.
What if the NP candidates decide to run against each other, possibly in the vice presidential race? It's something that Villar does not want to think about, for now.
"The chances of it happening are very small. But we will cross the bridge when we get there. It’s a very difficult question, I hope not," Villar said.
If Trillanes ends up the only one running for vice president, Villar said the party will support him.
Villar said the party will not make a decision on anything until the 3 have discussed their plans with each other. She expects them to do so when Congress resumes session in late July, and to sort things out by August or September.
The filing of certificates of candidacies for the May 2016 elections is in October.
The NP won't field a complete senatorial slate either. Aside from Marcos, neophyte lawmaker Lino Cayetano – Alan's brother – also figured in the Pulse Asia survey but he has not declared plans to run.
Villar's son, Las Piñas Representive Mark Villar, may also run. "He’s thinking about it. Pinag-uusapan namin but hindi pa kami sure (We're discussing it but we're not yetsure), she said.
Villar also said the party won't take an active role in deciding on coalitions with other political parties. She said the individual NP candidates will make that decision.
While she expressed openness to maintaining a broad coalition with the ruling Liberal Party of President Benigno Aquino III, it may be difficult, if not impossible, for NP to coalesce with Vice President Jejomar Binay's United Nationalist Alliance. (READ: NP may support Grace Poe but not Binay – Villar)
Trillanes and Cayetano are the most vocal critics of the Vice President. – Rappler.com