Press Release
November 25, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said the various opposition parties should strive to form a truly unified ticket in the 2007 elections, from the senatorial to the local government posts, to enhance their chances of trouncing their administration foes.

Pimentel said there are bright prospects that the United Opposition can put up a common 12-man senatorial lineup because of favorable circumstances but stressed the importance of having a winnable, powerhouse team on the basis of well-defined criteria for choosing candidates, including a semblance of regional representation.

The most likely scenario is we will have a single ticket. It will not be good for the opposition to split up into factions fielding their own candidates, said the chairman of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.

I think the times are opportune for the opposition to exploit the sentiment of our people against the administration by putting up a single ticket. Otherwise, some of the candidates of the administration can get through.

As of now, Pimentel said the opposition coalition is composed of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino, led by former President Joseph Estrada, PDP-Laban led by Pimentel (chairman) and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, and very likely, the Nacionalista Party, led by Senate President Manny Villar.

He said there are undergoing negotiations for other major political parties, like the Liberal party (led by Sen. Franklin Drilon), to join United Opposition.

According to Pimentel, Drilon perhaps does not even need a party tag since he is planning to run for congressman in Iloilo province.

But he said Drilons partymate, Sen. Francis Pangilinan will have to run under the opposition umbrella to boost his winning chances.

On Sen. Ralph Recto, who belongs to NP, Pimentel said he sees the legislator from Batangas running with the opposition, pointing out that his pronouncements so far have been critical of the administration.

Pimentel said it is still uncertain whether Sen. Edgardo Angara, president of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, will join the opposition senatorial slate, although the latter has publicly declared that he remains an oppositionist.

I really dont know where his canoe will take him to the high seas or to the Sierra Madre. But kidding aside, he will have to make up his mind, first and foremost because Im not too sure that the opposition will go out of its way and make invitations to prospective candidates, he said.

Pimentel said it is very encouraging that all surveys indicate that opposition bets will sweep the next senatorial race. However he said all surveys are only indicators, not a guarantee of sure victory.

Citing the big defeat suffered by the Republicans in the recent congressional elections in the United States, Pimentel said:

I think that the US elections also have an impact on the thinking of our people that the political tides are changing and probably that should very well happen. The year of the opposition is coming in next years elections.

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