Tiangco: No UNA CONAs issued to Ampatuans

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) today refuted reports that it issued Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) to some members of the Ampatuan clan.

“We did not issue CONAs to any member of the Ampatuan family,” UNA Secretary General Toby Tiangco said, responding to the Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) report that 34 Ampatuans are running under the coalition.

The Ampatuan clan, headed by former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan, Sr., is facing 57 counts of murder for the so-called Maguindanao massacre.

“I am asking PCIJ to furnish us with the CONAs of the Ampatuan family so we could validate them with our records,” he said.

“If indeed an Ampatuan charged in the massacre had been given an UNA CONA, we will withdraw it immediately,” he added.

Tiangco questioned how PCIJ was able to obtain the CONAs from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) when UNA itself did not receive the documents.

He said UNA wants to validate the COMELEC’s copy of CONAs with the coalition’s records.

“There are candidates who supposedly seek UNA’s endorsement but they do not use our CONA. They do this to prevent us from putting our own candidates,” he said.

“This is why we want to know who are those who just want to use UNA’s CONA but are not sincere to run under the coalition’s banner,” he added.#