• ‘No other way but to pray for Grace’


    The ruling Liberal Party (LP) is counting on divine intervention, more than anything, to succeed in convincing pre-election survey frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe to partner with its standard -bearer, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, in next year’s elections.

    Caloocan City (Metro Manila) Rep. Edgar Erice, chairman of the party’s political affairs committee, said this a day after President Benigno Aquino 3rd said he is not yet giving up on getting Poe to their side.

    “Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiyagang manalangin. And I don’t think that the President would say those things if he is not doing something to make it happen,” Erice told reporters as he used a Filipino proverb that means relentless wooing may gain favorable nod even from a woman with resolute will.

    Sen. Franklin Drilon, vice chairman of the ruling party, earlier urged his party-mates not to pursue Poe anymore because the writing on the wall is clear that she is running for President.

    Poe leads her potential 2016 presidential race rivals in pre-election surveys of Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations by eight to 20 percentage points. She is also topping the surveys in the vice presidential race with a winning margin of at least 20 percentage points.

    Erice, however, noted that the President’s continued preference for Poe to run as Roxas’ Vice President in 2016 is perfectly understandable because he wants to retain his allies and wants his platform of good governance continued.

    “We are still hoping that Senator Poe, who is still in the learning curve, will be enlightened. Her recruitment is not about removing her in the race for the gain of Secretary Mar but for unity of forces,” Erice said.

    Rep. Winston Castelo of Quezon City earlier called on the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Roxas not to stand in the way of Poe should she launch her presidential bid because the will of the people, more than the legal arguments that could go either way, should prevail.

    “If it was for me to decide, I would like to propose that UNA [United Nationalist Alliance] and LP sign a covenant that states that they won’t question Senator Poe’s citizenship or residency. If we go by the technicalities, then we will leave the matter to the minds of the magistrates rather than the electorate choosing the best presidential candidate based on their platforms of governance,” Castelo said.


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