THE Liberal Party (LP) is bent on getting Sen. Grace Poe on board because “she is popular,” according to Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice.
Erice, the vice chairman of the ruling party, said Poe “will be safe” if she decides to join their group.
“Senator Poe is a big addition because she is popular and she provides hope for our people. We are determined to have her [in our team]. We have members who even expressed willingness to help the party in courting her. But the decision is with her. What I can say is that if she coalesces with us, hindi mapapariwara ang kinabukasan niya at ng bayan (she and the country will not go astray),” the lawmaker said in an interview.
He issued the statement a day after United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Secretary General JV Bautista warned Poe against joining LP because some of its members were involved in rigging the result of the 2004 elections that resulted in the defeat of Poe’s father, Fernando Poe, Jr., who was the standard bearer of the opposition.
Bautista mentioned Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and former Sen. Francis Pangilinan who earned the moniker “Mr. Noted” because he merely noted the opposition’s motion to open the election returns.
But Erice denied Bautista’s allegations.
“Senator Poe said so herself, UNA has allies who are involved in election fraud. Secretary Abad would not engage in that . . . Senator Pangilinan was merely the Presiding Officer. That wasn’t cheating,” he said.
Erice was also unfazed by Bautista’s claim that Vice President Jejomar Binay knows how to win an election. He said Binay’s repeated statements that politics was behind the corruption allegations against him would eventually doom his candidacy.
“He says the Senate Blue Ribbon inquiry on him is one-sided, but he has refused to attend them in the first place. Those accusing him of corruption are his people. It didn’t come from nowhere,” Erice, Vice Chairman of the House Suffrage and Electoral reform panel, argued.
“He said the Ombudsman’s office is the proper venue in settling corruption allegations, but when the Ombudsman issued his son a suspension order, they wanted the Ombudsman cited in contempt. And how would he explain his huge bank accounts as stated in the Anti-Money Laundering Council report?” the congressman added.
“He wants to be President, but he doesn’t want to face scrutiny. Sabi nga ni FPJ, Pinuno mo na ang salop! Dapat ka nang kalusin! (Enough is enough),” Erice said.