• NPC official: Grace-Chiz a done deal, Mar plays catch up

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    SENATOR Grace Poe will announce her 2016 Presidential bid soon, with Sen. Francis Escudero as her running mate, a Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC) official said Thursday.

    Rep. Mark Mendoza of Batangas, the NPC secretary-general, made the announcement on the day that NPC members across the country met Poe and Escudero over at NPC clubhouse in New Manila on Thursday.

    “NPC members are expecting Poe and Escudero to announce their candidacies soon. A picture is worth a thousand words. And the photos in Cebu and their other trips tell us that when Senators Grace and Chiz formally announce their plans to run for President and Vice President, this will be welcomed by a lot of people,” Mendoza said.

    In the last two days, Poe has made stops in University of San Carlos in Cebu, two universities in Dagupan and Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation in San Carlos, City, Pangasinan—the birthplace of her late father, actor and National Artist for Film Fernando Poe, Jr.

    The senator will be in Nueva Ecija for the Student Leadership Forum of Globe Telecom and the City Government of San Jose to be held at Constancio Padilla National High School Gymnasium, San Jose, Nueva Ecija on Friday.

    “She exuded a genuine warmth. You could see how the students in the University of San Carlos reacted to Senator Grace when she spoke. They weren’t told to go there. They were there because they wanted to see her,” Mendoza pointed out.

    In Pangasinan, Poe was also seen getting hugs from young school children.

    “My fellow NPC members are drawn to her because she is a breath of fresh air. They feel this is what our country needs: someone who can inspire our people and give our people hope,” Mendoza added.

    Poe is leading in pre-election surveys in both Presidential and Vice Presidential races with a double-digit winning margin.

    In a separate talk, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., on the other hand, believes the ruling Liberal Party’s bet, Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd of the Department of Interior and Local Government, can still catch up in the Presidential race as long as he does something more than continuing President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s Tuwid na Daan (good governance) platform.

    “I am very sure it has improved because he is now able to talk more independently, and he should make that point. I am not saying that he should keep his distance [with the President], but the public would want to know, aside from continuing Daang Matuwid, what else are you gonna do?” Belmonte said.

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