Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said they will respect the decision of Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III if he decides to leave the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) because of former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
"Desisyon niya yun and we respect kung ano ang magiging desisyon niya," Binay told reporters during the country's celebration of Independence Day at the Luneta Park in Manila.
"Pero sa ngayon kasama pa rin siya [Pimentel] sa UNA at hihintayin namin ang desisyon niya bago kami mag-usap sa UNA," he added .
UNA was formed by Binay's Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) and President Joseph Estrada's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP). Pimentel is president of PDP-Laban while Binay is party chairman.
Earlier in the day, Pimentel hinted that he may leave UNA over the coalition's decision to keep Zubiri as one of its senatorial bets in the 2013 midterm elections.
On Monday, UNA formally announced the inclusion of Zubiri on its senatorial slate, putting him on the same picket as Pimentel.
Pimentel has repeatedly opposed the inclusion of Zubiri, who recently joined PMP, among the prospective senatorial candidates of UNA.
Binay, however, said the decision was made according to the coalition's covenant.
"Si Senador Migz ay PMP at ang UNA ay hindi naman PDP-Laban lang. Coalition ito at may collective leadership na nagdedesisyon," he said. — RSJ, GMA News