Admin ready to defend Aquino’s record vs corruption, Drilon says
The administration is ready to defend President Benigno Aquino III’s record against corruption when the Liberal Party (LP) kicks off its official campaign period on February 9 in its bailiwick in Region VI, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Thursday.
Drilon, vice chairman of LP, said the team led by its standard-bearer, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, will hold its kick off rally in Roxas City before proceeding to Iloilo City.
“The kick off will be in Roxas City that is my information at this point and then we’ll proceed to Iloilo City for the campaign kick off,” the Senate leader said during a weekly forum in the Senate.
Asked why the ruling party chose Roxas City as the kick off venue, Drilon said: “Isn’t it obvious?”
Asked then why the team would have to go to another city after Roxas, he said: “What’s the explanation? Because it’s two hours, kapitbahay (neighbor) and Region VI is the bailiwick of the LP.”
The Senate leader predicted that the issue of corruption would be an issue in the May 2016 elections.
“Corruption will be an issue and we’re prepared to defend the record of the president as one who has kept his nose clean and can’t be accused of any corrupt practice,” he said.
“In fact, I think one of the presidentiables conceded that the president could not be charged with any corrupt practice and the respect that we’ve gained internationally and the perception of the international financial community, our sound economic fundamental, are all anchored in the anti-corruption platform of President PNoy,” he added.
Drilon was apparently referring to Roxas’ rival, Senator Grace Poe, who earlier said that it might be difficult to file a case against Aquino even if the latter steps down in June, citing his strong position against corruption.
“So as I said, in this campaign, the LP is prepared to defend the president in terms of the ‘daang-matuwid’ (‘straight path’) policy and we’re willing to debate with anyone record of the president,” he said.
Asked why the LP’s campaign would focus on the president, Drilon simply said that the administration would defend itself from the attacks of the opposition.
Asked again why the focus was on Aquino, instead of the administration’s standard-bearer, the Senate leader said: “I’m making an assessment that corruption will be an issue.” RAM
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