by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com | 02/22/2013 11:41 PM
MANILA – Despite lacking funds and attention usually given to candidates endorsed by a political party, Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn said there are also benefits to running as an independent bet.
Hagedorn, who is running for senator in the 2013 mid-term elections, said that because he is not part of any senatorial ticket, he can move freely. He also claimed to be receiving support from the 2 main political coalitions.
“Mas maganda nga na independent ako kasi hindi mahirap na [mag-schedule], makikisingit lang ang isa roon sa 12. At both camps ay tumutulong sa atin,” he told dzMM on Friday.
Hagedorn said he was able to visit several vote-rich provinces on his own through the help of his friends.
“May mga kaibigan tayong nagpapahiram ng helicopter kaya nakaikot na kami, sa Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu at Iloilo,” he said.
The mayor said he was invited by his good friend, former President Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada, to join the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in 2012, but Hagedorn said he was still undecided at that time.
When he did decided to run for senator, the 12 slots had already been filled.
Hagedorn said a slot opened up when Joey de Venecia backed out of the race, but another candidate was being lobbied to replace de Venecia.
When Estrada made another offer, he again declined.
“Nu’ng nagkaroon naman ng vacancy sa time ni Joey de Venecia, malakas ‘yung ugong sa amin na ang talagang gusto nila ilagay doon ay si Nancy [Binay]. Nu’ng inofferan ako ni Presidente Erap, sabi ko, ‘Boss, baka magkatampuhan lang kayo, mahirap.’ Maganda para sa akin na ma-endorse ako pero baka naman magkaroon pa ng misunderstanding kasi nga ang matunog nu’n na lina-lobby nila ay si Nancy,” he said.
He said he also chose not to comment on recent reports that UNA is planning to adopt him because he has already decided to run as an independent.
Reports came out saying Hagedorn, Makabayan Coalition bet Teddy Casino and Bangon Pilipinas Party’s Bro. Eddie Villanueva will be adopted by UNA after the three common candidates--Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda, and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chair Grace Poe--were dropped from their slate.
However, UNA said on Friday that it has decided against adding new guest candidates in their coalition.