Lakas-Kampi merger from the top down
MANILA, Philippines — The chairman of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi, Partner of the Free Filipino) sees its merger with the Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats happening in reverse — starting from the national level, down to the local level.
“I think this time, there will be an effort on the national level so at least the local levels will follow instead of the other way around,” Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said.
“I think the approach that the negotiating panels are using is to begin with where they agree which is in the national level, before they go to where they disagree, which is the local level,” Puno told reporters in a chance interview in Malacañang.
“The major problem in all political alliances really is the unification at the local levels and that’s where we’re at right now. There is a very, very clear direction already on the national level so my hunch is that there will be national agreement before there will be a universal local agreement,” he said.
Last month, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed the administration parties Lakas and Kampi to merge and “fight side-by-side” in the 2010 elections.
Presidential political adviser Gabriel Claudio, a Lakas stalwart whom Arroyo tasked to oversee the merger, said Puno’s proposal was “possible”
“It’s possible and there’s logic to it. There’s already an agreement to work for a merger, and its benefits over a mere coalition are understood, if not accepted, by both parties,” he said.
“Details about local disputes can be addressed more easily in the context of being together in one party,” he said.
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