Belmonte: LP open to outsider as 2016 presidential bet | Inquirer News

Belmonte: LP open to outsider as 2016 presidential bet

/ 04:26 PM November 26, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Wednesday said the Liberal Party was open to look outside the party for a presidential candidate in the 2016 elections.

Belmonte, who is also LP vice chair, said in an interview that he was amenable to looking for a standard bearer from their ally parties–Nacionalista Party (NP), National Unity Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).

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“There’s actually a lot of talk on consensus-building. Since we’re talking of consensus within the LP and its allies, we have to look around in the ranks of everybody. Not just in the LP,” Belmonte said.

feliciano belmonte

House speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, Jr. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

Asked if he was amenable to a presidential candidate outside the LP, Belmonte said: “Definitely.”

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Belmonte made the statement after another high-ranking LP official, Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, said on Tuesday that the party may look outside in fielding presidential, vice presidential, and senatorial candidates.
“It’s always consensus and collegial building. The party always decides collectively. That’s the principle of liberalism,” Sarmiento said.

Talks of the party being open in vouching for a non-LP standard bearer floated as Interior Secretary Mar Roxas failed to fare well in presidential surveys despite being the President’s presumptive successor.

For the 2010 elections, Roxas gave way to Aquino who was then swept to power after the death of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino.

The ruling party is under pressure to select its best bet to counter the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay, whose popularity in surveys is affected over allegations in a Senate probe that he earned kickbacks from various infrastructure projects in Makati when he was mayor.

The most famous name suggested as LP’s standard bearer is Senator Grace Poe, the daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr. who ran in the 2004 presidential race but lost to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo amid cheating allegations.

Poe ran as independent in 2013 but was a guest candidate in Team PNoy.

But the LP party has not yet talked about endorsing Poe despite the neophyte lawmaker’s popularity. Poe led the Senate race in 2013 though it was her first time to run in politics, having come from being chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

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In the 2013 elections, the LP allied with the NP, NPC, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and Akbayan Citizen’s Action Party in forming its senatorial ticket then known as Team PNoy.
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TAGS: Elections, Feliciano Belmonte, Liberal Party, Politics
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