Party-list coalition backs Poe team, hopes to draw 10M votes
BACOLOD CITY—A party-list coalition on Friday formally endorsed the candidates of Partido Galing at Puso led by its presidential bet Sen. Grace Poe.
In a show of force, representatives and members of various party-list groups declared their support for Poe’s team at L’Fisher Hotel here.
“[T]here are more than 30 members (in the) party-list coalition sitting in Congress who pledge and commit their support to Galing at Puso of Senator Poe,” said Butil Rep. Agapito Guanlao.
Apart from Butil, Guanlao enumerated the other party-list groups supporting Poe’s team, such as ICARE, Agham, Anwaray, ABS, Abang Lingkod, Ang Nars, ANAC IP, Ang Bicol, ABono, Abamin, Magdalo, OFW, Senior Citizens, Alay Buhay and the Makabayan bloc composed of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Act Teachers and Anak Pawis.
Guanlao said the coalition hoped to deliver 10 million votes for the team based on the estimated votes they received in the 2013 elections.
“All in all when we estimate the votes gathered during the 2013 elections of all these party-list (groups), they raised 10 million votes across sectors,” he said.
“Ito na yata ang pinakamalaking aggrupation of party-list members who join and support the Partido Galing at Puso,” the lawmaker added.
Guanlao said this was also the first time the coalition came together to agree on the same candidates.
“Ito po ’yung unang-una so we hope that the Galing at Puso team will win in the 2016 elections with the support of the party members,” he said.
Guanlao didn’t say if the coalition’s support was the start of an exodus from the ruling majority in the House of Representatives but pointed out that some of their members could support candidates of their own choice, like the administration’s bet Mar Roxas or Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“Actually, the party-list coalition has decided that individual members should go on their own free will, with their party. Ito pong nandirito ngayon ay ang nagkasundo kami, minonitor lang namin bilang lider ng grupo, ito ’yung sumusuporta sa Team Galing at Puso,” he said.
“Hindi naman po lahat (kami), mayroon din naman sumusuporta kay Mar Roxas at saka kay VP Binay, but dahil ito na yata ‘yung pinakamalaki … siguro kinokonsidera nila na ang best president to be supported is Sen. Grace Poe,” he said.
Incumbent congressmen Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson and former Liberal Party member Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez have also declared their support for Poe and her running mate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
“Maybe there will be some questions regarding whether there are other members or colleagues who are supposed to join us. First and foremost, I think this event was not really planned, it was really a spur of the moment decision of all the members that are here, my colleagues. It was really a calling for those who’d like to come out and support Sen. Grace Poe,” Benitez said.
Poe and Escudero later joined the group and raised hands with the party-list members. IDL/RC
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