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Aquino holding out for Grace Poe

/ 05:36 AM September 10, 2015
Senator Grace Poe and President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

Senator Grace Poe and President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

While President Aquino continues to hold out the hope that Sen. Grace Poe will join the Liberal Party (LP) ticket, other party members are beginning the search for other possible running mates for LP standard bearer Mar Roxas, Senate President Franklin Drilon said.

Drilon, the LP vice chair, was the first party member to suggest that the LP stop wooing Poe to run with Roxas, as he believes that she is running for president herself.

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Asked about Aquino’s statement in an Inquirer forum on Tuesday that he was not giving up on Poe as Roxas’ partner for the 2016 elections, Drilon said the party was nevertheless looking for other potential vice-presidential candidates.

“We are starting our search so that we will be ready,” he said in a radio interview.

The party cannot wait until the last minute to begin looking for a partner for Roxas, Drilon said in a separate interview.

“We cannot scramble if at the end Sen. Grace Poe will finally say, ‘I am running for President.’ It might be too late. So it is better that we are prepared,” he told reporters.

Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, the LP political affairs chief, believes the reason why the President is hanging on to the hope that Poe would join the administration ticket is because he is banking on Poe’s promise that she would listen to his advice on her plans for 2016.

“The President is really hoping that he will continue to have Senator Poe on his side. In the first dinner meeting they had, Sanator Poe said she would follow the advice of the President,” Erice told a press briefing on Wednesday.

He said the public has to understand why the President persists in waiting for Poe despite the senator’s virtual rejection of offers for her to run with Roxas.

It is for Aquino to decide when to end the waiting game, Erice said.

“I think he is still doing something to convince her (Poe), he is just not telling us. As they say in Filipino, ‘walang matimtimang birhen sa matyagang manalangin’ (nothing is impossible in the face of persistence),” he said.

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Drilon said he was aware that the President wants to maintain the administration coalition. Poe, who is not affiliated with any party, ran as a guest candidate of the LP in the 2013 senatorial elections. She has said that she still has to make up her mind whether to seek higher office in 2016.

However, there is nothing the LP can do if Poe does not want to run with Roxas, Drilon said.

But he also said that the President’s views would be given the highest importance.

Drilon gain mentioned again the four names that he thinks could be possible partners for Roxas: Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, and Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Robredo and Santos are reluctant to run for vice president, while Trillanes said he would run for vice president as an independent.—Leila B. Salaverria and Gil Cabacungan

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Edgar Erice, Elections, Franklin Drilon, Grace Poe, Liberal Party, LP, Politics
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