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LP to keep wooing Poe: Suitor sets no deadline

Sen. Grace Poe. FILE PHOTO

Sen. Grace Poe. FILE PHOTO

The ruling Liberal Party (LP) will continue its courtship of Sen. Grace Poe and wait patiently for her answer.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the LP’s presumed presidential candidate, on Friday said he will continue to talk to Poe to convince her to be his vice presidential running mate.

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“Our talks will continue,” Roxas said in an ambush interview at La Salle Green Hills after the Mass to commemorate the 32nd death anniversary of martyred opposition leader Ninoy Aquino and for the latter’s recently departed brother Butz Aquino.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, the LP acting president, said the party will continue to wait for Poe’s decision.

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“Any hopeful suitor never sets a deadline. If I were courting you, I’m sure it would be the biggest turn-off and I’d be rejected for sure if I were to give you a deadline,” Abaya said.

On calls for him to let go of Poe, Roxas said everyone had an opinion on the matter but that he and Poe were talking directly and that their discussions were going well.

But Roxas, who has obtained President Benigno Aquino III’s coveted endorsement, is still without a running mate, as Poe, who is on top of his list of possible partners in the 2016 elections, has not been forthcoming.

Poe has been leading the voter preference surveys for both President and Vice President. She’s being persuaded by powerful and ambitious backers to go for the presidency and is known to be seriously thinking about it.

The senator said earlier that she had told Roxas that she had not yet decided whether to run for President and that he had many potential vice presidential candidates to choose from anyway.

She also said that Roxas was patiently waiting for her to decide, but others in the LP were “acting differently,” accusing unnamed others of discrediting her and being involved in the suits seeking to disqualify her.

Not the party stand

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Abaya said “definitely that is not the stand of the party.”

“Some [LP members’ statements], when asked by the media, were probably reactions to the political situation, some may be [sounding off] out of frustration. Me, I’m not frustrated. I remain hopeful,” he said.

“We are a democratic country. I don’t think it would be rational if we zip everybody’s mouth. Everyone is free to express their opinion, especially in our party. We are not dictatorial so we take this as a personal opinion reflective of some of the party, but not the party stand,” he added.

Abaya said that if he were to give those party members some advice, he would tell them to take the lead of the party leaders, at least in terms of replying to questions concerning the Poe situation.

“We may have different reactions but definitely we are not involved in discrediting, in disqualification issues. We continue to adhere to the straight path. Definitely there is no LP stand to put people down,” Abaya said.

“We continue to hope and pray that in this time of discernment, (Poe) will be able to see her role in the continuation of the straight path,” he said.

Many Plan Bs

In the meantime, several other names are being floated as a possible running mate for Roxas, including Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Asked if the LP has a Plan B should Poe decide to run for President herself and therefore turn down the LP offer, Abaya said: “As of now, all I know is Plan A. Everyone may have their Plan B but I’m positive that the Plan A option will be closed before we explore other letters of the alphabet.”

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TAGS: 2016 elections, Butz Aquino, Grace Poe, Joseph Emilio Abaya, Liberal Party, Mar Roxas
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