Grace Poe will run for president in 2016, says NPC head

By , on August 5, 2015

Senator Grace Poe (Photo from Poe's official Facebook page)
Senator Grace Poe (Photo from Poe’s official Facebook page)

MANILA – Although Senator Grace Poe has not yet officially declared her interest in seeking a higher post in next year’s national elections, Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) president and Isabela Representative Giorgidi Aggabao has disclosed that the neophyte senator was already eyeing the presidency.

“From what I gathered, she has already fixed her mind on the presidency, and that won’t change. That is also true in the case of Senator Chiz (Francis) Escudero,” Aggabao said in a press conference.

“I haven’t talked to any of them, but I learned that that’s the decision,” he added, also disclosing that Poe and Escudero would formally announce their candidacies next month.

Read: Poe still mum on running

With talks that most NPC members would be supporting a Poe-Escudero tandem, Aggabao reiterated that the two were independents; hence, they did not belong to NPC or any other political party. He did not rule out, however, the possibility of NPC adopting Poe and Escudero in their party.

When asked about the issue on Poe’s lack of experience in public service, Aggabao said that it was still ‘a debatable issue.’ He also cited United States (US) President Barack Obama who also had little experience before running for the country’s highest post.

NPC secretary general and Batangas Representative Mark Mendoza, on the other hand, clarified that the NPC has not yet formally met and discussed their presidential and vice presidential bids.

Escudero was an NPC member in 2009 but later on left the party and ran for senator in 2013, alongside Poe who was also an independent. Both campaigned with Team P-Noy.

In the 2010 presidential elections, the NPC supported President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. The party’s founder, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., was Aquino’s uncle.

For the 2016 elections, Cojuanco has not yet declared support to any candidate. His son, Marcos, however, has openly declared support for Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay’s candidacy. But Aggabao pointed out that ‘at the end of the day, he (Marcos) would abide by the party’s decision.’

Meanwhile, Auqino has been urged to again form a coalition with the NPC, Nacionalista Party (NP) and National Unity Party (NUP) for the coming national elections.

While the said political parties still did not have presidential and vice presidential bets, Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr. believed that Roxas could still get their support.

“I am with NUP, but I am committed to Mar Roxas. I think I can convince many of my partymates to support my candidate,” Barzaga said in a Philippine Star report.