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CamSur NP goes for Poe

/ 06:08 AM April 16, 2016
Presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe. FILE PHOTO

Presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe. FILE PHOTO

Nacionalista Party (NP) members in this vote-rich province are backing a women’s tandem to lead the country—Sen. Grace Poe for president and vice presidential bet Leni Robredo, according to former Camarines Sur Gov. Luis “LRay” Villafuerte Jr.

Villafuerte and his son, Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Villafuerte, gave Poe a big show of support on Friday as the independent candidate stumped the province.

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However, the politically influential clan said they were not supporting Poe’s running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, and instead were for Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, the ruling Liberal Party  candidate for vice president.

Campaigning solo

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Following her supporters’ lead, Poe campaigned solo in Camarines Sur which has one million voters.

But she mentioned Escudero in her speeches and praised Bicol for having produced “excellent achievers.”

Villafuerte told reporters he believed it was only a matter of time before Poe got the endorsement of the entire NP.

According to LRay’s estimate, “60 to 70 percent of NP members are for Poe.”

Most of the NP members in the Bicol region are among them. They include 100 percent of NP members in Camarines Sur, he claimed.

“In the end, the majority will have to voice out their opinion, and I feel that there is a big possibility that the NP will endorse Grace Poe,” he told reporters.

True believers

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There has been no comment, however, from the NP leadership led by former Sen. Manuel Villar. The NP earlier declared it was not likely to endorse any candidate because three NP members are running for vice president—Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Antonio Trillanes IV—and are paired with different candidates for president.

Poe has already received the backing of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, founded by tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.

Poe is hoping for better numbers in the coming surveys, but said her recent dip in ratings has showed her “who her true believers are.”

Poe admitted there were some would-be supporters who have backed out or who were talked out of openly endorsing her bid for president.

Recent polls showed Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte taking the lead with Poe in second place with about three weeks to go before election day.

‘It’s clear’

“If you are at the top spot and people flock to you to offer their support, you won’t be able to tell if they are doing that because of your platform or just because you’re No. 1,” she said.

“But now it’s clear,” she said, acknowledging, for one, her Camarines Sur supporters.

She noted that she was not the survey topnotcher in December, and has never been complacent even when she became No. 1.

But aside from stepping up her campaign, she said she also relied on prayer.

“I was in Saint Jude yesterday, the saint of the impossible. All of us are like race horses, with a photo-finish end,” she said.

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TAGS: Camarines Sur, Elections 2016, former Camarines Sur Gov. Luis “LRay” Villafuerte Jr., Grace Poe, Leni Robredo, Nacionalista Party, NP members, Sen. Grace Poe, vote-rich province
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