THERE is no need to conduct a loyalty check within the Liberal Party because party members remain loyal to LP standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday.
Drilon, also the vice chairman of the LP, issued the statement in response to reports that there are members of the party, including Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who are planning to bolt the party and join the tandem of Senators Senator Grace Poe and Francis Escudero.
“There is no truth to that. That is part of the rumor mill at this point,” he told reporters in a news conference.
Drilon noted that they had expected intrigues, citing supposed improvement in the standing of Roxas in surveys.
Roxas, based on the pre-election polls conducted by Pulse Asia, Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Magdalo group, has been a consistent fourth placer, despite the supposedly vaunted political machinery of the LP.
When asked if the party is conducting a loyalty check on its members, Drilon said, “There is none.”
The LP vice chairman added that the party expects Roxas and other LP candidates to further improve their ratings once the campaign period for local officials begins later this March.
“You will see the extent of the political machinery of the Liberal Party [that]will swing the pendulum for our candidates,” Drilon said.
The party, according to him, will not stop any of its members who wants to join Poe or other candidates.
“Freedom of choice is one of the hallmarks of our system of our government,” he said.
Poe, in an earlier interview, disclosed that some politicians from other political parties have expressed support to her candidacy even before the Supreme Court ruled on her disqualification case and they were just waiting for the final decision of the court before they come out.
This is apart from the support earlier expressed by the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) to the Poe-Escudero tandem
But President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who had been actively campaigning for Roxas, on Monday expressed doubt on the supposed party stand of NPC, saying many members of the NPC are with the LP.
Poe said the President is free to express his opinion but she pointed out that the party leadership already said it will support her and Escudero.
According to her, some LP members welcome them when they visit their area and it is normal because they are also candidates.
“So let’s just wait for the local campaign period to start,” Poe said.
She visited the province of Laguna on Tuesday and promise residents that her “Gobyernong may Puso” (government with a heart) will provide free education for all, free irrigation to farmers and more jobs and enhance the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program for the poor to include livelihood assistance.