GO can’t punish Villar for ‘junking’

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Genuine Opposition yesterday admitted that it could not punish re-electionist senatorial candidate Manny Villar even if he was found guilty of “junking” his fellow candidates in the anti-administration coalition.

Villar, in a separate statement, denied that he was leaving out the names of the other members of the opposition in sample ballots, as reported over the weekend.

The Senate president and head of the Nacionalista Party told an interview with radio station dzMM that he could not stop local candidates from choosing their own Senate bets, as had apparently happened in Bulacan, where the so-called junking was reported.

Villar said he had always campaigned for his colleagues in the opposition in all of his sorties.

GO spokesman Adel Tamano said the people would judge Villar should the accusations of junking of his party mates in the opposition proved true.

“While the coalition may not have the necessary powers that are needed to address the present situation, the punishment for the actions of Villar, should they be true, will be handed out by the people,” Tamano said. “There are political consequences.”

Villar said sample ballots could be printed by anybody and that he did not owe anybody an explanation.

“I’m just a guest candidate. I have no intention of explaining. I have never interfered in the politics of GO and I don’t intend to do so. I don’t owe them an explanation,” he said.

He dismissed the controversy as black propaganda, saying that as the elections drew nearer, more accusations could be expected.

Four of Villar’s colleagues in the opposition—Anna Dominique Coseteng, Aquilino Pimentel III, Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda—defended the Senate president from the allegations, saying they could not believe he would junk his fellow party mates in GO.