MALACAÑANG on Friday said it expects some members of various political parties, including the Liberal Party (LP), to shift allegiance to the newly-formed group of Sen. Grace Poe and her running mate and fellow lawmaker Francis “Chiz” Escudero, noting that in major elections, the “landscape” changes.
In a news briefing, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said they are unfazed by the reported “exodus” of 200 local officials from various groups to the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), which has thrown its support behind the Poe-Escudero tandem.
“The President’s thrust is not personality politics but platform. If you look at the history of every major election that we’ve had, you will always see shifts in the landscape of your political parties,” the official added.
Former Caloocan City (Metro Manila) Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri, an LP member, joined hundreds of others in a mass oath-taking as new NPC members also on Friday.
Besides Echiverri, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya of Lakas also joined the group.
An Waray chairman Florencio “Bem” Noel told The Manila Times that so far, Echiverri was the only LP member present during the event.
Noel, who recently resigned from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to support Poe’s bid, also said his party-list and seven other groups will go “all the way” for the Poe-Escudero team.
These party-list groups are Abang Lingkod, AVE, Ang Nars, Bagong Henerasyon, Anak IP, Abono and Ako Bicol.
But Valte downplayed this latest political development, saying while she “could not give a reaction on the members of the LP moving,” the administration bet, Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, and Aquino can boast of performance.
“What is important for the President and his chosen candidate is that they continue to argue and to discuss based on programs, policies, et cetera at kung bakit dapat ituloy [and why they should be continued],” she added.
Andaya claimed he joined the NPC to support Poe and Escudero because by all indications, the party, which is the second largest in terms of membership, will back the two senators.
Poe tops Magdalo polls
Poe retains the top spot in a pre-election presidential survey conducted by the Magdalo group in early September.
Poe emerged as the top choice of some 2,937 respondents who were asked to name their candidate in 2016.
The Magdalo conducted the survey using a multi-stage sampling or a form of sampling that involves dividing the population into groups.
The survey was also divided into three scenarios wherein every scenario has its own set of names where respondents could choose from.
In all three scenarios, Poe landed No. 1 followed by Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and Roxas of the Liberal Party on third.
In the first scenario, the respondents were asked to choose from 10 presidential candidates namely Poe, Binay, Roxas, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Escudero, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and former Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
Poe scored 29.9 percent while Binay got 21.4 percent and Roxas, 15.8 percent.
Duterte landed fourth with 15.5 percent.
Marcos was in fifth position while Cayetano was No. 10 with 1.3 percent.
Scenario number 2 reduced the number of choices to six presidential candidates–Poe, Binay, Roxas, Duterte, Marcos and Cayetano–with Poe still emerging on top with 32.4 percent, followed by Binay with 22.8 percent and Roxas, 17.5 percent
In the third scenario, the number of candidates was further reduced to four and Poe still landed on top with 37.7 percent, Binay with 24.3 percent, Roxas with 18.6 percent and Duterte with 17.8 percent.
The independent presidential candidate was also the top choice in all the regions in the country in all the three different scenarios.
Poe was also the top choice of almost all religions on the country except for Muslims, who prefer Binay and Duterte.