Sen. Grace Poe is running for President and she will formally announce her bid on Wednesday, sources from the senator’s camp said on Monday.
No less than President Benigno Aquino 3rd said the administration-backed Liberal Party is not bothered by the buzz.
“Worried? Why should we be worried of her announcing her plans? We really would like to hear what she says. Are we worried? No, we are not worried,” Aquino told reporters in Iloilo City.
The President echoed an earlier statement made by Senate President Franklin Drilon, Liberal Party (LP) vice chairman, who said a Poe candidacy for President will not change any of the party’s plans for 2016.
“No. We are not worried… There is no change in plan. We will continue to build [up]Secretary [Manuel] Roxas [2nd],” Drilon told reporters.
Poe–the pre-election Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia survey frontrunner–is reportedly announcing her bid at the Bahay ng Alumni in the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus in Quezon City.
The President said the LP is moving past the traditional way of personality politics and that whatever Poe’s announcement would be, they would focus on the platform, not on the person.
“I think the party stands on a particular platform,” he added.
“We are moving away from personality politics to platform-based politics. So whatever her announcement is, we still insist that… we still will be advocating governance-based on a first…particular specific platform rather than just, rather just any personality,” the President said.
Aquino earlier said he and the LP are not giving up on Poe until the deadline for filing of certificates of candidacy in October, even as they continue to criticize the senator for her inexperience in government service.
The President had several meetings with Poe where he reportedly tried to persuade the senator to team up with Roxas.
In a four-way or three-way fight, Poe is seen to be a winner based on surveys.
Aside from Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay, the other supposed contender was Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, but he announced last week that he was no longer gunning for the presidency.
In a two-way fight, Roxas reportedly has more chances against Binay, according to political observers, because Poe would likely get the votes from him instead of the Vice President.
Poe is facing a disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal because of issues related to her citizenship and residency.
When asked about the chances of Roxas, Aquino earlier expressed confidence that the people would consider the successes of the straight-path mantra of his administration.
“Anyway, what our group is espousing that there should be continuity and how does one argue [with]success… So in our case… this was what had been produced,” Aquino said.
“We believe this is just a starting block. Those who will come after us [will]continue the programs and the reforms that have been happening, this time on our shoulders, you get to higher level at a quicker phase. And everybody who does not subscribe to that will have to explain what is your vision of something better than what is already happening,” he added.
Senator Sergio Osmena 3rd, when asked about the reported announcement of Poe, said it is not a surprise, only anti-climactic.
Osmena added that he has no plans of supporting Poe, regardless of who will be her running mate.
“I won’t support her whoever her Vice President [would be]. I won’t say who I am supporting and why,” he said.
Osmeña was among those consulted by Poe during the 2013 mid-term elections.
Poe is expected to team up with Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero but it was not clear if the latter is also planning to declare his vice-presidential bid on Wednesday.