No attendance, no endorsement.
This was the consensus among members of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) following the absence of three common candidates in the proclamation rally in Cebu on Tuesday.
UNA spokesperson JV Bautista said they will no longer campaign for Senators Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Loren Legarda as well as Grace Poe-Llamanzares if they fail to show up in sorties.
"The general sentiment is that if these common candidates can make themselves available for Liberal Party activities, why can’t they do the same for UNA?" Bautista said.
"If you don't show yourself in our sorties, we don't have to campaign for you," he added.
Related story: Estrada predicts Team PNoy 'breakdown', claims early advantage
Bautista, who is running for a congressional seat in Nueva Ecija, clarified UNA will no longer tolerate proxies campaigning on behalf of their guest candidates.
He explained representatives of guest candidates will not be allowed to take the stage and deliver speeches.
On Tuesday night, Poe-Llamanzares sent her son, Brian, while Legarda sent her father, Tony, to UNA's event in Cebu City so they can attend thr administration coalition's opening salvo at Plaza Miranda.
Their representatives were allowed to speak before a crowd of 35,000 supporters, urging them to vote for the former censors chief and the veteran senator.
"We just accommodated them the first time. We see no point campaigning for candidates who can't even attend our rallies. If you run with us, you really have to run with us," Bautista said.
Also read: Zubiri to political foe Pimentel: 'I love you'
During the proclamation rally, UNA campaign manager Tobias "Toby" Tiangco ordered organizers not to display Escudero's tarpaulin nor play his video before a huge audience in Plaza Independencia in Cebu.
Tiangco, Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile did not even mention Escudero's name in any part of the program.
Binay also raised high probability of dropping Escudero as UNA's guest candidate for his failure to send anyone during the big event.
Related story: Early media voting allowed for May polls
But Escudero hit back at UNA, complaining of Binay's "double standard," questioning Binay for accepting the support from the enemies of his presidential candidate, former President Joseph Estrada in 2010.
"In 2010, Vice President Binay did that that's why I don't understand why my absence became such an issue," Escudero said.
For her part, Poe said joining the campaign sorties of UNA is not her priority, but stressed she is willing to attend the rallies of the rival party to express gratitude for endorsing her.
"I want to join UNA sorties to thank them but to say this just to get their endorsement, I think that is a personal thing," she added.
Senator Franklin Drilon, LP campaign manager, refused to comment if any sanction would be imposed on candidates who will join the sorties of UNA.
A “clash of titans” was how Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago described the Senate session Wednesday, but her sharp words seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. …