MANILA – Senate President Franklin Drilon, vice chairman of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), urged the political party to consider other viable vice presidential candidates besides Senator Grace Poe as she was likely to join the presidential race in next year’s national elections.
Since being endorsed as President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s preferred successor, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II has been persuading Poe to be his running mate as she was also part of the administration coalition in the previous general elections.
Drilon, however, asserted that at this time, Poe has already been giving hints of her presidential bid. Although the neophyte senator has not yet expressed her interest in seeking a higher post in the coming elections, the senate leader believed that her actions showed otherwise.
“In my view, Senator Grace Poe is already a candidate for president. The writings are on the wall. She will run,” he said.
“First of all, she has been going around, making speeches to various schools and organizations. You would not be doing that if you were not a candidate. It is not easy to go around,” he added.
Drilon then called on his party members to move on and make another move.
“Stop na (now)… I will ask the LP National Executive Council (NECO) to convene as soon as possible in order to nominate and approve our vice presidential candidate for 2016’s running mate of Secretary Mar Roxas,” he said.
“So we prepare and complete our slate for 2016, including the senators. So I will ask our acting party president [Transportation] Secretary [Joseph Emilio] Abaya to convene the council,” he added.
The Senate President also noted that the deadline for the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy (COC) was ‘just around the corner.’
“With the deadline drawing near, I believe we have to help Secretary Roxas in coming up with a complete ticket. Based on the constitution of the LP, the NECO can nominate. Of course, we will consult Secretary Roxas,” said.
“[Batangas Governor] Santos (Vilma Santos-Recto) is a viable candidate, also Congresswoman Leni Robredo. In the Senate, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Sonny Trillanes, have made themselves available,” he added. “There are other names. That’s just an initial thought. But what is important is that Senator Poe, the way I see it, is already a candidate for president.”
Trillanes, for his part, preferred running as an independent and admitted backing Poe’s candidacy should she run for president.
“I already personally informed Secretary Mar that our Magdalo group will support Senator Grace Poe’s candidacy for president,” he said.