OPPOSITION PARTIES THAT COALESCE WITH LAKAS-KAMPI FACE REJECTION IN 2010; COALITION SHOULD BE AMONG OPPOSITION GROUPS – BINAY

PRESS RELEASE
12 SEPTEMBER 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay today said opposition parties that enter into a coalition with the administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD run the risk of being called turncoats and could face rejection at the polls.

“Once a political party that identifies itself as opposition enters into a coalition with the Arroyo administration , that party becomes part of the administration,” he said.

“If we are to enter into a coalition, it should ideally be a coalition among opposition parties,” he added.

The opposition leader, who announced his decision to run for Vice President to pave the way to talks for a common opposition candidate, said the public’s dissatisfaction with the Arroyo administration will taint any opposition party that aligns itself with Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

“Because of her unpopularity and the widespread public dissatisfaction with her administration, Mrs. Arroyo’s endorsement will be the kiss of death for her anointed candidate, whether the candidate is from Lakas or from an opposition party,” he said.

“Mrs. Arroyo’s candidate will be identified with and will have no choice but to defend and justify Mrs. Arroyo’s failure to lift people from poverty and her scandalous mismanagement of government resources,” he said.

Binay said he remains optimistic that opposition parties can unite. All it would take, he said, is for party leaders to sit down without any preconditions.

“While there are those who say that opposition unity cannot be achieved at this point, I remain optimistic that we can still agree on commonalities. There are more things that unite us rather than divide us,” he said.

But regardless of the outcome of unity talks, it is clear that the 2010 election belongs to the opposition, he said.

“The public is looking for candidates who can offer a government that is the direct opposite of what we have now under Mrs. Arroyo. The opposition parties all agree that the people deserve better,” he said.

Mrs. Arroyo’s popularity ratings have been sliding in the last few years. A recent Pulse Asia survey said 43 percent of Filipinos distrust Mrs. Arroyo and disapprove of her performance.

Binay also cited results of surveys done by Social Weather Station (SWS) showing that hunger had quadrupled from five per cent in 2003 to 20 percent in June 2009.

Public dissatisfaction with the Arroyo administration’s failure in addressing hunger and corruption have been placed at -21 per cent in the August SWS survey, posting the highest dissatisfaction.

“Mrs. Arroyo’s declining popularity is the surveys is an accurate indicator of the people’s dissatisfaction over the unabated scandals and the sordid tales of abuse of power involving Mrs. Arroyo and her allies,” Binay said.

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