Poe advisers say they’re more than a match for Binay’s Puno
SHE MAY be new to politics, but experienced politicians, including former and incumbent lawmakers, are giving Sen. Grace Poe a hand as she campaigns for the presidency.
Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, Poe’s spokesperson, named Cebu Rep. Joseph Ace Durano and former An Waray Rep. Florencio Noel as the people running the senator’s campaign for Malacañang.
Durano was earlier designated the campaign manager of Poe’s Partido Galing at Puso.
Gatchalian said he was confident Poe’s team would be able to mount a better campaign than those of their rivals, even with the presence of veteran political strategist Ronaldo Puno in the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Durano and Noel have the “necessary experience and savvy to match the skills of Secretary Puno,” he said.
Noel said in a phone interview that Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya, former Rizal Rep. Jack Duavit and former Pangasinan Rep. Oscar Orbos were involved in the campaign of Poe and her running mate Sen. Francis Escudero.
Noel said members of the Poe-Escudero team believed it would be able to make a good pitch during the campaign because their candidates were not facing any major issues.
“Our strength is our candidates, Grace and Chiz,” he said.
Poe is battling the Commission on Elections’ decision to disqualify her from the presidential race, but Noel said he believed the effect of the controversy was more to create a question in people’s minds about whether she would be able to run.
Once the issue is resolved in her favor, he said he believed Poe’s poll numbers would spring back.
He also said it was easy to invite people to join the cause because the team’s top two candidates were easy to carry.
Noel said the former and the incumbent lawmakers in Poe’s campaign were all working together for the first time in this election.
They had been involved in different presidential campaigns in the past, but had played minimal roles in them, he said.
Asked what advantage they could bring to Poe’s campaign, Noel cited their combined experience in politics. He said there were many nonpoliticians helping in the campaign.
Both Durano and Andaya were members of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Cabinet. Durano served as tourism secretary, while Andaya served as budget secretary.
Durano is a member of a well-known political clan in the vote-rich province of Cebu. The Duranos’ local party has an alliance with the Liberal Party of President Aquino.
Andaya used to be with the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party, but later transferred to the Nationalist People’s Coalition to support the Poe-Escudero ticket.