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Salceda gone? LP stalwarts vow Roxas-Robredo victory in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY,  Philippines – While some of their members have shifted support to other candidates and none of the Bicol governors are backing their administration standard-bearer, Liberal Party stalwarts in the region remain confident that they can deliver victory for the LP tandem there.

Reelectionist Albay Third District Representative Fernando Gonzalez made the statement following the decision of Albay Governor Joey Salceda of LP to dump the ruling party's tandem in favor Senator Grace Poe and Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero.

Gonzalez said this would have "little effect" on the votes for administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and his running mate, Leni Robredo, who is Camarines Sur Third District Representative.

He anchored his confidence on the remaining LP stalwarts in the region, as well as the ruling party's strong local candidates who remain loyal to the Roxas-Robredo tandem.

Salceda and the camp of Grace Poe had issued a press releasing saying that she also has the support of Camarines Norte Governor Edgardo Tallado, Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Villafuerte, Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee, and Catanduanes Governor Cely Wong.

Villafuerte is supporting a Poe-Robredo tandem, while Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee is supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay and Escudero, who hails from his province.

Gonzalez pointed out that Lee's wife, Sally, is Roxas' candidate for Sorsogon City mayor, while Lee's son, Bobbit Lee Rodrigueza, is running for governor under the LP. He said Tallado is no longer with the LP

Strong LP candidates

Gonzalez noted that there are "strong candidates" in Camarines Norte who are supporting Roxas. The province's Reyes and Unico families are also helping campaign for the LP standard-bearer, he added.

He said while Salceda's defection to the Poe camp may have an effect, he and other LP leaders in Albay will strive to offset this by working hard to push for the administration tandem, especialls as they do not have strong opponents.

Gonzalez said this is the case in his reelection bid in the 3rd District of Albay, while former representative Edcel C. Lagman is expected to make a comeback in the 1st District of the province.

He added that Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal remains the leading mayoral candidate in the city. Add to this, he said, the support of LP candidates in Tabaco and Ligao, which have big numbers of voters.

Gonzalez also said that even if some LP members have left the party, there are "strong candidates" from other political parties who have joined the ruling party. – Rappler.com