The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) has officially dropped "common candidates" Senators Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Loren Legarda as well as former censors chief Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
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In a statement, UNA secretary-general Tobias "Toby" Tiangco explained the opposition coalition "is no longer obligated to include the names of Escudero, Legarda and Poe-Llamanzares."
"We would have wanted and were looking forward to having them join our nine UNA candidates in our rallies and sorties," Tiangco said.
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Tiangco, who also serves as campaign manager of UNA, lamented that neither of three candidates have taken concrete move or extended meaningful gesture that assure them they will deliver their commitments.
"We tried our best to accomodate them. We know that the LP, through Sen. Franklin Drilon, has warned them repeatedly about joining our election activities. We have held on to their assurances that they will join us sooner or later," Tiangco said.
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"On the contrary, public statements have been made by at least one of them ruling out participation in UNA events," he added.
But the Navotas lawmaker, who have been personally coordinating with the common candidates, wished Escudero, Legarda, and Poe-Llamanzares good luck.
The Philippines on Saturday shot back at Beijing's criticism of its activities in the South China Sea, saying they were "in no way comparable to China's massive reclamation activities" in the waters. It also said accusations that Manila was being "hypocritical" would not distract people from Beijing's own actions which were raising regional tensions. "The Philippines' possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea... is in no …