Despite earlier claims, NPC still open to other presidential bets
MANILA, Philippines – After 3 meetings with Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) now said it will also meet with other potential candidates for the 2016 polls.
This is contrary to party officials’ earlier statements.
NPC Executive Vice President and Rizal Representative Jack Duavit earlier said there will be no further political meetings with administration standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II beyond “work matters” after their meeting last August 11. (READ: NPC not keen on meeting candidates other than Grace Poe)
Duavit also said there is no need to meet opposition standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the party is already acquainted with both. After all, he said Duterte is a former NPC member.
NPC President and Isabela Representative Giorgidi Aggabao repeatedly said in the past that majority of the party is set to support the Poe-Escudero tandem.
But now spokesman and Quezon Representative Mark Enverga denied that the party has already decided "to throw its support behind them.”
He added that the consecutive meetings with Poe and Escudero were part of their party’s “efforts to observe due diligence in ensuring that only the best candidate will earn their party’s coveted support.”
“We already heard the platforms and programs of Sen. Poe although she is yet to make a decision on whether to run for president or not, and we believe that it's now about time that we also hear from other candidates before making our final decision,” Enverga said in a statement on Sunday, August 30.
Enverga on Friday, August 28, however, said the party’s visions are similar to Poe’s platform while Roxas only gave a “general” sense of his plans.
Enverga is confident that all members would follow the leadership’s decision in 2016, citing the impeachment case of then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez when NPC members in the House of Representatives were initially split but eventually voted as one to impeach Gutierrez.
The NPC is the second largest political party in the Philippines, headed by tycoon Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco.
It has no presidential and vice presidential candidate for 2016 but its support is coveted by aspirants in a race emerging to be one of the most unpredictable contests in recent history.
A neophyte senator, Poe overtook Binay in the June surveys. She is now the front runner in the presidential race but has no political party or machinery of her own. – Rappler.com
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