Majority of NPC back Poe-Escudero team
A majority of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) members are inclined to back a Grace Poe-Francis “Chiz” Escudero tandem if it materializes, a senior NPC member said, a few hours before the political party was to meet with the two senators on Tuesday night.
He was not citing facts, Sen. Vicente Sotto III said, but a “sense” of how most NPC members would go if asked whom they would support for the 2016 presidential election.
“Grace and Chiz would be independent candidates if they so decide to run,” Sotto explained. “If NPC supports them, we will be the lead political party. But if we support other candidates, we will be second fiddle, we will be second-class citizens to the main political party.”
Poe had earlier met with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer, who has been eyeing her as his running mate. Poe said she had yet to make up her mind, and that Roxas and the LP did not have to wait for her decision.
Tuesday night’s meeting involved NPC members from the Visayas and Mindanao and came a week after a similar meeting between Poe and NPC members from Luzon.
Sotto said the meeting with the NPC Luzon bloc was held separately from that of NPC Visayas and Mindanao, as they could not all fit in the NPC clubhouse in Quezon City at the same time.
NPC was also moving closer to “a consensus” on whom to support in 2016, “most probably toward the end of September,” Sotto said.
Inviting Poe and Escudero would allow NPC members to get to know the two better, he said, adding, however, that he was not aware of any NPC plan to invite other presidential candidates.
Several lawmakers belonging to the NPC had earlier met with Roxas, who was seeking the party’s support in his presidential bid.
Escudero said he welcomed any support from the party, but that he doubted the NPC would make an announcement after Tuesday night’s meeting on whom to support in 2016.
Before the party could make such announcement, the candidates would have to declare their political plans first, he said.
Poe and Escudero have yet to announce their plans for 2016, with Escudero saying he would support Poe in her choice and decision.