NPC hems and haws
THE NATIONALIST People’s Coalition (NPC) is delaying its official declaration of support for Sen. Grace Poe as many of its local members are afraid of reprisals from the administration, a senatorial candidate from the NPC said Tuesday.
“Many members are asking for more time because they are afraid their projects will be stopped,” said Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, an NPC candidate who is part of Poe’s senatorial slate.
Gatchalian, a brother of NPC spokesperson and Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, said a majority of NPC members favored Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, but were still waiting for the right time to make the announcement.
“Of course, if you are not allied with the leading group, you will be put in a tight spot,” he told a briefing at the House of Representatives.
But, “I would safely say that a majority of NPC will choose the Grace-Chiz ticket,” he added.
Gatchalian said it was the situation at the local level that remained volatile, partly explaining why the NPC could not yet declare its support for Poe and Escudero.
“The situation of local parties is a little chaotic. Many have transferred to NPC and other parties, because the situation is not good. Let the dust settle first,” he said.
Another senatorial candidate running under the Poe-Escudero ticket is Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, who is a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP).
Speaking at the same forum, Romulo said he did not take it against the LP that he was not included in the party’s senatorial slate.
“We have our own preferences. The LP has its own preferences on which they based their choices. We should respect that,” he said.
Gatchalian and Romulo said they believe Poe will be able to defend and prove her citizenship in the disqualification cases against her.
Romulo, a lawyer, cited the words of LP standard bearer Mar Roxas’ own grandfather, former President Manuel Roxas, one of the framers of the 1935 Constitution.
During the 1934 Constitutional Convention, delegate Roxas said: “By international law, the principle that children or people born in a country of unknown parents are citizens of that country is recognized, and it is not necessary to include a binding provision on the subject.”
Romulo said Roxas’ words indicated that a foundling like Senator Poe should be considered a citizen presumed to be natural-born, as she did not need to do anything to perfect her citizenship, unlike a naturalized citizen.
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