Post-Roxas anointment: NPC, NP weigh options for 2016
With President Benigno Aquino III slated to endorse Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as his presidential candidate in 2016, his coalition partners are either moving to decide whether they will continue to support him and his candidate or are in a wait-and-see attitude on a continued partnership.
Sen. Vicente Sotto III said that the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) of businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco was to meet next week to come up with a party stand on whether to continue supporting Mr. Aquino beyond his term.
In a phone interview, Sotto reiterated that the NPC was not in a coalition with the ruling Liberal Party (LP) but was in partnership only with Mr. Aquino since 2013.
The senior NPC member said most members were inclined to support the possible tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero.
“But the meeting next week will see whether this will be confirmed or not, or the party will decide whether we support (national candidates) as a group or as individual members,” Sotto said.
Sotto backs Poe
As for himself, Sotto said he would support Poe personally.
“If she runs (for President), I’m with her,” said Sotto, who was the personal campaign manager of her father, the late Fernando Poe Jr., who ran and lost in the 2004 presidential election to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said the Nacionalista Party (NP) of former Sen. Manny Villar was in a “wait-and-see attitude” if Mr. Aquino and the LP were open to a coalition with other parties.
“Any coalition survival or growth depends on the individual actions of each coalition partner. So it’s positive that the President is saying he wants to keep the coalition together,” said Cayetano, an NP stalwart.
He said the NP had always assumed Mr. Aquino wanted a free hand in endorsing his presidential candidate. But he said the party would want to know what kind of partnership the President wanted with coalition partners, the platform of government and the positions his party would offer.
But Cayetano said the President’s camp would have to knock on the NP door if it wanted a partnership with them.
Otherwise, he said, the NP would be free to choose its own candidates.
Cayetano, who is considering a run for the presidency, said that he had not received any solid offer to join political tickets in 2016, only saying that people close to Roxas and Poe were seeking a possible alliance with him. He described this as “political flirtations.”
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