MANILA – Interior Secretary and Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II has been ‘courting’ the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) to get the political party’s support in next year’s presidential elections.
“It’s the season of courting,” Budget Secretary and LP member Florencio ‘Butch” Abad said, mentioning the reason behind Roxas’ meeting with the NPC last Tuesday morning.
“If you don’t talk to them, how can they determine that you want their support? I think Roxas is just being proactive about it,” he added.
Abad also hoped that Roxas would indeed get the party’s support.
“This will go all the way to October, to December and May. In Philippine politics, as in politics in general, many things still can happen… I’m sure as in any political party, there are those who advocate for one candidate or another but at end of the day they will have to decide as one party,” he said.
In 2010, the NPC joined the administration coalition backing President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s candidacy at that time. The political party, however, pulled out of the coalition after having its own senatorial candidates in 2013.
Abad, however, believed that the LP-NPC coalition was ‘still subsisting’ and they would only know if they can still keep the coalition intact when politicians file their candidacies by October.
Meanwhile, several sources claimed that some NPC members were ‘ready to support’ Senator Grace Poe instead, should she finally decide to join the presidential race.
‘Encouraged’ by NPC members, Poe clarified that she was still undecided if she would seek higher office in the coming national elections. She also referred to her meeting with the party as a ‘social gathering’ with no formal talks or offers regarding the elections.
Roxas, on the other hand, has been openly asking Poe to be his running mate in next year’s general elections.
“Obviously, I think she is the best option for vice president. There has to be an invitation to formally settle these things once and for all,” Abad said.
However, Poe admitted preferring to run alongside Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero who has been her friend and political ally for a long time. Escudero had already expressed his interest to run for vice president in 2016 and the neophyte senator would not want to run against him.
With uncertainty still within the political party, Senator and NPC member Tito Sotto asserted that party members may have different choices on whom to support now but the end of the day, they would all abide by Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco’s decision on whom to support.