The ruling Liberal Party (LP) will not kick out Sen. Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th from the campaign team of its standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, one of the party stalwarts, said Saturday.
He issued the statement in response to reports that Bam, cousin of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, has been banned from the LP headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City because the senator voted to dismiss the disqualification cases against Senator Grace Poe filed at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).
Poe was a former frontrunner in presidential surveys. She won the SET case in a close 5-4 vote.
“We wouldn’t be Liberal if we renounce our comrades because of their individual choices. The SET decision on the Grace Poe disqualification was never subject to a party discourse so we respected Senator Bam’s decision,” Baguilat said in a text message.
“Senator Bam remains an integral part of the Mar-Leni campaign team. We championed the call for trust in our institutions to keep things fair, just and wise,” he added.
Akbayan party-list Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, one of the spokespersons for the Roxas campaign, likewise clarified that Bam is a valuable asset to LP.
“That [Senator Bam is prohibited to come to Balay] is an utterly baseless rumor and is pure, mean spirited gossip. Senator Bam is the campaign manager for Rep. Leni Robredo’s Vice Presidential run, and plays a vital role in Daang Matuwid coalition,” Gutierrez said.
“His vote in the SET case has not affected this [role]in any way,” he added.