• LP 2016 slate known in September – Umali

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    The ruling Liberal Party (LP) will announce its full slate for next year’s elections by September, when pollsters shall have finished their surveys for the last quarter, an LP stalwart said on Wednesday.

    Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, brother of LP Treasurer Alfonso Umali, Jr. said the result of the surveys will help them decide who to field in 2016.

    “There are still surveys [to be released]in August and September, so that would be the likely barometer. For now, it’s still a long way to go. But the machinery is something that we have, aside from the fact that we have the support of the sitting president,” Umali told reporters at the sidelines of the briefing on energy efficiency held at the Meralco office.

    Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, LP’s president on-leave, is the party’s presumptive candidate.

    Aquino has met with Sen. Grace Poe at least twice but the senator said no invitation for her to run under LP was extended by the president.

    The President plans to meet Sen. Francis Escudero next.

    Umali said the party continues to hold meetings and that “things are getting clearer.” “The vice presidential candidate should jell with the presidential bet. The President will be our guiding force. It won’t be hard for the party to accept the President’s decision because we have never wavered in our quest for good governance,” the lawmaker said.

    Umali said he is open to running for senator next year.

    Sen. Franklin Drilon meanwhile said the party has no plans to hold a convention to choose its presidential bet because nobody from the party is contesting Roxas as its presumptive candidate.

    Speaking during the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum Wednesday, Drilon admitted that no member of the party has expressed his intention to run for president which makes Roxas as LP’s standard bearer.

    “No one is contesting the nomination. I don’t think that a convention is called for. There is no more convention unless from now up to October somebody or some party member will say that he wants to run for President, then we will have to go through the process,” Drilon explained.

    The vice chairman of LP added that even in the party’s by-laws, there was no mention about holding a convention to select a candidate.

    Drilon said Aquino is entitled to look for candidates whom he thinks could continue his programs.

    “The President is not only the chairman of the Liberal Party, he is also the President of the country, he had a platform when he came into power, and that is the platform of good governance, and it is natural for him to look for candidates who in his judgment can continue the platform and principles,” he explained.

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