LEGAZPI City—Albay Gov. Joey Salceda on Thursday welcomed independent presidential candidate and Sen. Grace Poe and running mate Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero with a promise to bring victory for the Gobyernong May Puso’s tandem in his province.
”Yes, and I will work for it,” Salceda said when asked by the media in an ambush interview if he can turn his support to Poe and Escudero to victory in the May 9 national elections.
Wearing white shirt with printed name of Grace Poe, Salceda joined supporters in welcoming Poe and Escudero at the Legazpi airport.
Salceda defended his decision to support Poe and Escudero, saying the two are compatible to be the next top leaders of the country.
”I always believe that a team should be compatible or shot act as a team. So when I chose Grace, I also chose Chiz. I don’t want a vice president roaming around to fight the incumbent president. He should be an asset (to the president),” Salceda explained.
Salceda denied reports that he left Liberal Party’s standard-bearer Mar Roxas for Poe and Escudero because the LP did not him give enough funds.
”It’s not true. Are they saying that Grace gave me? All these other speculations are meaningless,” Salceda said.
He said he left the LP because Roxas never dropped by in Albay every time the LP held campaign sorties in Bicol region for the last nine months.
”They went to Sorsogon and Camarines Sur but not once in Albay for the last nine months,” Salceda said.
He praised the economic programs being offered by Poe and Escudero, particularly the Php300-billion allotment every year for the agriculture sector.
”It should have been done long before in agriculture where 74 percent of the poor people below. So we are dealing with 11.4 million people who are vulnerable,” Salceda said.
The Albay governor believed that good economy is best solution to criminality.
”Will an ordinary people would not resort to criminality if he has decent and good job? I don’t think so. In my view, the bottom line and center of good platforms is a good economic,” he said.
Escudero said the support of Salceda is very important for him and Poe, “specially that we are running as independent.”
”The support of Governor Joey to us is crucial not only here in Albay but throughout the country,” Escudero said.
”I’m not expecting it (Salceda’s support). The influence of the governor is not only here in Bicol. I don’t know if the governor is aware that a lot of local governments are looking at him to whom he will give his support,” Poe said.
From the airport, Poe and Escudero proceeded to Libon for a motorcade from Libon, Polangui, Oas, Ligao, Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga to Legazpi City.
In Legazpi City, Poe and Escudero as well as their senatorial candidates attended a political rally held at Penaranda Park.