Flanked by top government officials, members of United Nationalist Alliance headed to the Commission on Elections Monday to officially declare candidacy.
Officially running under UNA are San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, and Zambales Rep. Milagros Magsaysay.
Also on the UNA slate are Senator Gregorio Honasan II and former senators Richard Gordon, Ernesto Maceda, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Tingting Cojuangco, the President's aunt.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, along with the eight UNA senatorial bets cheered: "One for all, all for one. Walang iwanan!"
Boxing champ Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, a member of PDP-Laban, was also at the Comelec to show his support. Officials of PDP-Laban and Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino, the two parties that make up UNA, raised his hands in although he is not running for senator.
Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda, as well as MTRCB chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares have yet to file their certificates of candidacy. The three are guest candidates under UNA and a administration Liberal Party-led coalition.
Despite their promise of unity, however, the UNA slate is already short of two names.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president, will be running with the LP coalition. He bolted UNA after it was announced that Zubiri, whom he accused of cheating in 2007, would run under UNA.
Jose de Venecia III of PDP-Laban has also begged off. Former President Estrada said de Venecia will focus on a business opportunity instead.
"Eh, hindi naman pwede pagsabayin yung pagkakampanya tsaka yung negosyo na minsan lang mangyayari," Estrada said, adding de Venecia may yet join public service in the future.
UNA has until Friday to find a replacement for de Venecia. Vice President Jejomar Binay said the coalition has to meet first to see whom it will field."Alam mo naman ito, collective leadership," he said.
No one, even a senator, is above the law.