NOY'S CORNER THIS PAST WEEK...
(MINI-READS followed by FULL REPORTS below)

ATE VI GETS FEELERS TO BE NOY ADMIN'S VP BET


Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto. Batangas Capitol photo Another Noy, Grace meeting held, for the 4th iime... Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto admitted yesterday receiving “feelers” to run as vice president under the administration, which is believed to be grooming Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II as standard bearer. The governor was present during the unveiling of the inaugural marker of the Asian Productivity Office Production Unit Inc. high security printing plant and live demonstration of the new e-passport system at the LIMA Technology Center in Malvar, Batangas led by President Aquino. Santos-Recto, a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said she has no definite political plans yet for 2016. She told reporters she wanted to make sure her last term as governor would end well and, at the same time, finish her movie with actress Angel Locsin. Asked if Aquino was asking her to consider running for higher office, Santos-Recto said there were “feelers” to which she only replied: “Thank you for considering me.” READ MORE...

ALSO 4th time: Aquino, Grace Poe meet again


Less than a week after a six-hour dinner in Malacañang, President Aquino and Sen. Grace Poe met anew Monday afternoon, this time talking for five hours. At the meeting, Poe said she sensed the “very difficult position” the President was in. “I understand and sympathize with his predicament and situation,” Poe said in a text message. “I consider him a true and sincere friend and he has my utmost respect,” she added. Poe said the President reiterated his desire for all of them to continue working together, and that he believed that like him, they could and would do the best for the country. “In the end, we both agreed to continue, in whatever capacity, striving and working for our countrymen and for the betterment of our children’s future,” she said. The President’s meeting with Poe followed last week’s dinner with her, Sen. Francis Escudero and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino praises Congress, nit-picks at nameless foe


President Aquino again lashed out at a nameless enemy again yesterday while trying to ingratiate himself with members of the legislature packed with his allies as he dared his “staunchest critic” to criticize the performance of Congress under his administration. He issued the blind challenge during a speech after signing two key economic bills to find fault in Congress under the Aquino administration. “Again, I am thanking members of the Senate and the House. And I dare my worst critic, go ahead look for any proof that our representatives in both houses of Congress are not serving the people,” Aquino said at the end of his speech after signing the Philippine Competition Act and amendments to the decades-old Cabotage law. Aquino was believed to be referring to Vice President Jejomar Binay and the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA) which have been exposing irregularities under the Aquino administration over the past few weeks. The President and his allies have been in a vicious word war with the Vice President’s camp after Binay resigned from the Aquino cabinet last June 22. Binay mainly criticized the failure of the Aquino administration to uplift the lives of the poor, to which the Palace fired back saying that Binay is merely engaging in an effort to smokescreen the allegations of corrupt practices against him. READ MORE...


ALSO NPC head: 80 percent of members for Poe, Escudero; PARTY CITES 'FPJ' FACTOR


Billionaires Manuel “Manny” Villar Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS MAJORITY of the members in the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) are rooting for Senator Grace Poe for President because of the party’s history in backing the presidency of her father, the late Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ).In a press conference on Wednesday, NPC President Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao said he talked with NPC members and at least 80 percent supported Poe for president and Senator Francis Escudero for vice president.“Many members of the NPC are rooting for Poe-Escudero tandem,” said Aggabao, a Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives. Aggabao said the NPC has yet to make its final stand because Poe and Escudero are still mum about their plan to run for higher office.“The operative fact is for Senators Poe and Escudero to announce their candidacy… Until that time comes, we cannot make an open and shut endorsement of any political candidate,” Aggabao said.Meanwhile, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the NPC’s evident support for Poe and Escudero goes back to historical ties.Gatchalian said NPC supported the presidential bid of FPJ.Meanwhile, Escudero was formerly an NPC member. He joined the NPC in 1998 but bolted the party in 2009 at the time he was a presumptive presidential bet, citing a desire to run independent.“Escudero may have left the party but the personal relationships he forged never died… For Poe, in 2004, the NPC supported her father and her father went to the stump for a lot of NPC candidates. Those are historical relationships that you cannot erase,” Gatchalian said. “Maybe that’s the reason why a lot of NPC members are rooting for them to run,” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO: AFTER GRACE ‘REJECTS’ OFFER TO PAIR WITH MAR, LP headed for split


With Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares “virtually rejecting” the offer to pair off with Liberal Party (LP)’s presumptive standard bearer, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, the ruling party looks headed for a split as some senior LP members, including Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte who has been vocal in rooting for the neophyte lawmaker, would be expected to bolt the administration to support the candidacy of the senator. According to a source within the party, the split would not be limited to the ruling coalition as reported in another national daily, but would hit the very heart of administration party. “It’s not a simple case of the different political parties and entities in the ruling coalition going their separate ways to support each one’s candidate. But even the LP itself would be headed for a split,” the source told The Tribune.
But the LP denied a split over the 2016 bets after the meetings reached a dead end. Belmonte, LP co-vice chairman yesterday refuted allegations that the ruling party is headed for a split following its believed incapability to name its own presidential tandem for the 2016 elections. Belmonte denied the notion that the LP is set to break apart following a division among its ranks on whom to support for the 2016 elections. The lawmaker refuted the assumptions over the LP split after the failure to meet a consensus on Aquino’s supposed courting of Poe to become the party’s vice presidential bet. “Definitely, I don’t see any schism in the LP… at this stage of the game when nobody has been chosen, when in effect, the field is still open. “I think it is not unreasonable for various LP members to entertain all sorts of ideas,” Belmonte told reporters in Malacañang after Aquino’s signing of two economic bills. The Speaker also denied earlier reports that he, together with his group, will leave the LP to support a “winnable” candidate, amid the erupting call among LP members that Mar Roxas will be the party’s standard bearer. READ MORE...

ALSO: Danding won’t meddle in party decision; NP denies joining NPC


COJUANGCO Businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., founder and chairman emeritus of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, will not meddle in the members’ decision to support its presidential tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero.This was revealed by NPC spokesman Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian who said that Cojuangco is not going to meddle in the decision process of the party.“He (Cojuangco) does not interfere with the day-to-day operations of the party. He lets its members and officers decide,” Gatchalian said.Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, NPC president, at a press conference on Wednesday said that most of the NPC members were inclined to support a Poe- Escudero tandem.Agabbao said that Cojuangco will keep his hands off when the party makes a formal decision to support Poe and Escudero even if his son former Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco has already publicly declared to support Binay’s presidential bid.The NPC, the second largest political party in the House of Representatives with 41 members. It has two members in the Senate – Senators Loren Legarda and Tito Sotto. There are also some 14 governors and 22 mayors as members. What the NPC president says may all be propaganda, as stalwarts of the Nacionalista Party (NP) yesterday vehemently denied reports on the supposed commitment already made with another party, the NPC, in rallying behind the candidacies of Poe and Escudero for the coming 2016 elections.This, in the event that Poe and Escudero decide to seek the presidency and vice presidency next year.Senators Cynthia Villar, Antonio Trillanes IV and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. refuted claims that saw print in the Inquirer of Cojuangco and Manny Villar having sealed a coalition in support of the Poe-Escudero tandem.Trillanes, who openly announced his intention to seek the vice presidency with or without the backing of NP, was quick in imputing motives to the camp of Escudero, his perceived strongest “rival.” “This is just a propaganda ploy of Escudero because the NP will not carry both of them. At the very least, the LP may carry or adopt Poe but definitely not Escudero,” Trillanes said in a text message to reporters.“He is not a member of the party (NP). If a member of the party already declared his intention to run for an specific position, then you can’t possibly adopt an ‘outsider’,” he explained. READ MORE...


ALSO
Drilon: LP united behind Roxas for standard bearer


DRILON
THE ruling Liberal Party (LP) will not be headed for a split over its members' choice of presidential candidate, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Tuesday. “I do not see a split down the road. The LP is united behind (Local Government) Secretary (Manuel II) Roxas. I can assure you, there will be no split down the road,” said Drilon, LP vice chairman, in a television interview. Drilon said the President would endorse the party’s standard bearer by July 29 or 30, days after his last State of the Nation Address on July 27. The Senate President reiterated that he, as well as the public, is expecting that the President would endorse Roxas. "Well, given all the circumstances, I think it is a reasonable expectation," Drilon said. Aside from Roxas, several names like survey frontrunner Senator Grace Poe and Senator Francis Escudero are being floated as Aquino's potential successor. Aquino met the three in a dinner last week but no consensus was reached. If Poe runs for president, Drilon said the LP is "prepared for all contingencies." "Senator Poe is her own person. She knows what's best for herself, what's best for our country. We could only convince her so much," LP president and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters on Wednesday. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Ate Vi gets feelers to be admin VP bet


Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto. Batangas Capitol photo
Another Noy, Grace meeting held...

MANILA, JULY 23, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Aurea Calica Updated July 21, 2015 - Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto admitted yesterday receiving “feelers” to run as vice president under the administration, which is believed to be grooming Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II as standard bearer.

The governor was present during the unveiling of the inaugural marker of the Asian Productivity Office Production Unit Inc. high security printing plant and live demonstration of the new e-passport system at the LIMA Technology Center in Malvar, Batangas led by President Aquino.

Santos-Recto, a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said she has no definite political plans yet for 2016.

She told reporters she wanted to make sure her last term as governor would end well and, at the same time, finish her movie with actress Angel Locsin.

Asked if Aquino was asking her to consider running for higher office, Santos-Recto said there were “feelers” to which she only replied: “Thank you for considering me.”

READ MORE...

“I don’t entertain them,” she said, refusing to discuss the issue further because there was no formal invitation or discussion with the President in the first place.

This developed as Aquino and Poe met anew for five hours yesterday but they failed to reach any agreement on possible administration team up in the 2016 elections.

Aquino is reportedly trying to persuade Poe to be the running mate of Roxas. But Poe is said to be eyeing a teamup with Sen. Francis Escudero.

Noy, Grace meet anew Poe confirmed her meeting with the President to The STAR last night, which came four days after the chief executive met with Roxas and Escudero.

“We talked for about five hours. I could sense the very difficult position P-Noy is in right now,” she said.

“There was mutual respect for each other in our conversation. All I can say is that this is perhaps our last meeting before the SONA and, as I said, we both agreed that we both have the best interest of our country in mind in whatever decisions we will make in the coming days,” Poe said.

She added she recognized the difficult decision the President has to face amid the pressure to choose between Roxas and her.

“He reiterated his desire for all of us to continue working together and that he believes that, like him, we can and will do what is best for our country,” she said.

Sen. Vicente Sotto, a close ally and family friend of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. and his wife, actress Susan Roces, expressed belief that Poe would not give in to Roxas.

Still weighing options

Meanwhile, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. remains coy about his political plans despite some groups pushing him to run for president next year with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as his running mate.

Marcos said he is still weighing his options but is happy that the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan and Partido Manggagawa at Magsasaka will be signing a unity accord to support the Marcos-Duterte tandem.

“I heard the news and I welcome their support. I do not know of any specific schedule for such signing,” Marcos said. – With Christina Mendez


INQUIRER

Aquino, Grace Poe meet again By: Leila B. Salaverria, Maila Ager
@inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net, Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:42 AM July 21st, 2015


Senator Grace Poe and President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

Less than a week after a six-hour dinner in Malacañang, President Aquino and Sen. Grace Poe met anew Monday afternoon, this time talking for five hours.

At the meeting, Poe said she sensed the “very difficult position” the President was in.

“I understand and sympathize with his predicament and situation,” Poe said in a text message.

“I consider him a true and sincere friend and he has my utmost respect,” she added.

Poe said the President reiterated his desire for all of them to continue working together, and that he believed that like him, they could and would do the best for the country.

“In the end, we both agreed to continue, in whatever capacity, striving and working for our countrymen and for the betterment of our children’s future,” she said.

The President’s meeting with Poe followed last week’s dinner with her, Sen. Francis Escudero and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

READ MORE...

Poe said Monday’s meeting with the President “is perhaps our last meeting before the Sona (State of the Nation Address) and … we both agreed that we both have the best interest of our country in mind in whatever decisions we will make in the coming days.”

Aquino had said he would announce his administration’s presidential candidate after his Sona on July 27.

Aquino is agonizing over the choice of whom to endorse in next year’s elections.

Poe, an independent, is the voters’ top choice as the next president based on the latest Pulse Asia survey while Escudero, also an independent and Poe’s close friend, is the most preferred to be the next vice president, according to survey results.

The two have yet to publicly declare whether they would seek a higher post.

Roxas, the presumptive standard-bearer of Aquino’s Liberal Party, also has not stated any intention to run for president in 2016.


TRIBUNE

Aquino praises Congress, nit-picks at nameless foe
Written by Joshua L. Labonera Wednesday, 22 July 2015 00:00



President Aquino again lashed out at a nameless enemy again yesterday while trying to ingratiate himself with members of the legislature packed with his allies as he dared his “staunchest critic” to criticize the performance of Congress under his administration.

He issued the blind challenge during a speech after signing two key economic bills to find fault in Congress under the Aquino administration.

“Again, I am thanking members of the Senate and the House. And I dare my worst critic, go ahead look for any proof that our representatives in both houses of Congress are not serving the people,” Aquino said at the end of his speech after signing the Philippine Competition Act and amendments to the decades-old Cabotage law.

Aquino was believed to be referring to Vice President Jejomar Binay and the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA) which have been exposing irregularities under the Aquino administration over the past few weeks.

The President and his allies have been in a vicious word war with the Vice President’s camp after Binay resigned from the Aquino cabinet last June 22.

Binay mainly criticized the failure of the Aquino administration to uplift the lives of the poor, to which the Palace fired back saying that Binay is merely engaging in an effort to smokescreen the allegations of corrupt practices against him.

READ MORE...

Binay tagged the Aquino administration as “insensitive and a failure,” and a “slow acting” government, insisting also that it practices a brand of selective justice that prosecutes political foes while shielding allies.

The Vice President after resigning from the Cabinet claimed he has been treated badly by administration allies composed primarily by the Liberal Party (LP) which has Aquino as chairman.

Aquino claimed in his speech that the two measures he signed will open the avenues of the Philippine economy further, which are the Philippine Competition Act and a law amending the Cabotage Law.

The President, in his speech, thanked both houses of Congress in passing the measures.

“It is true that unity brought us to the prosperity we are enjoying today. That’s why before I continue, I would like to thank our good Representatives and Senators that contributed to pushing for these laws,” Aquino said.

“I will make it clear: These laws will push for a robust business for our country, but our strategy does not stop there. Together with this, we also have many policies and programs focused on enhancing our people,” the President added.

Amendments to the Cabotage law, which is also called “An Act Allowing Foreign Vessels to Transport and Co-load Foreign Cargoes for Domestic Transshipment and For Other Purposes,” will pave way for international cargo ships to go to any port in the country to unload or load cargo. It also seeks to lessen costs for shipping.

The Philippine Competition Act, which has been delayed in Congress for a total of 20 years, will bar anti-competitive mergers, acquisitions and agreements, that allows an enterprise to dominate in an industry. Penalties reaching P250 million against violators is provided under the law.

“Finally, businesses big or small, will have a playing field where success depends on producing quality products at the most reasonable price instead of gaining advantage through under the table deals or connections,” Aquino said.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, and Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan were present in the signing of the two measures.

Members of Congress namely Senators Vicente Sotto III, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, and Cynthia Villar, Representatives Neptali Gonzales II, Mark Villar, and Dakila Carlo Cua, were also there as witnesses.


INQUIRER

NPC head: 80 percent of members for Poe, Escudero PARTY CITES 'FPJ' FACTOR By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 04:19 PM July 22nd, 2015


Billionaires Manuel “Manny” Villar Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

MAJORITY of the members in the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) are rooting for Senator Grace Poe for President because of the party’s history in backing the presidency of her father, the late Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ).

In a press conference on Wednesday, NPC President Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao said he talked with NPC members and at least 80 percent supported Poe for president and Senator Francis Escudero for vice president.

“Many members of the NPC are rooting for Poe-Escudero tandem,” said Aggabao, a Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives.

Aggabao said the NPC has yet to make its final stand because Poe and Escudero are still mum about their plan to run for higher office.

“The operative fact is for Senators Poe and Escudero to announce their candidacy… Until that time comes, we cannot make an open and shut endorsement of any political candidate,” Aggabao said.

Meanwhile, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the NPC’s evident support for Poe and Escudero goes back to historical ties.

Gatchalian said NPC supported the presidential bid of FPJ.

Meanwhile, Escudero was formerly an NPC member. He joined the NPC in 1998 but bolted the party in 2009 at the time he was a presumptive presidential bet, citing a desire to run independent.

“Escudero may have left the party but the personal relationships he forged never died… For Poe, in 2004, the NPC supported her father and her father went to the stump for a lot of NPC candidates. Those are historical relationships that you cannot erase,” Gatchalian said.
“Maybe that’s the reason why a lot of NPC members are rooting for them to run,” he added.

READ MORE...

FPJ lost the 2004 elections to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo amid allegations of massive election fraud. He died of stroke just months after he lost.
Aggabao said a Poe-Escudero team-up would be noble because they are independent from political interests. Poe topped the 2013 senatorial race as an independent.

“For the first time, we’ll have a strong president and vice president candidate na independent at hindi nakatali sa political interest,” Aggabao said.

“Isn’t that noble?” he added.

Gatchalian clarified that the NPC has not yet made a final position in supporting Poe and Escudero.

He said that when the time comes that the NPC makes its final decision, the members are told to follow the party decision.

He said this even includes his brother Valenzuela Representative Sherwin Gatchalian, who is said to be running for senator under Vice President Jejomar Binay’s presidential bid.

“Let’s not mistake personal relationship with party affiliation. I also expect Sherwin to toe the party line,” Gatchalian said.

The NPC is wooing Poe and Escudero despite their meetings with President Benigno Aquino III about the administration coalition plans in 2016. Poe and Escudero ran in the 2013 elections under the Team PNoy coalition.

Aquino is said to be courting Poe, who is popular in the voters’ preference surveys, to run for Vice President with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the Liberal Party’s presumed presidential bet but is unpopular in the surveys. Aquino supposedly wanted Poe to add sheen to Roxas’ lack of popularity.


TRIBUNE

AFTER GRACE ‘REJECTS’ OFFER TO PAIR WITH MAR, LP headed for split  Written by Tribune Wires Wednesday, 22 July 2015 00:00



With Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares “virtually rejecting” the offer to pair off with Liberal Party (LP)’s presumptive standard bearer, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, the ruling party looks headed for a split as some senior LP members, including Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte who has been vocal in rooting for the neophyte lawmaker, would be expected to bolt the administration to support the candidacy of the senator.

According to a source within the party, the split would not be limited to the ruling coalition as reported in another national daily, but would hit the very heart of administration party.

“It’s not a simple case of the different political parties and entities in the ruling coalition going their separate ways to support each one’s candidate. But even the LP itself would be headed for a split,” the source told The Tribune.

But the LP denied a split over the 2016 bets after the meetings reached a dead end.

Belmonte, LP co-vice chairman yesterday refuted allegations that the ruling party is headed for a split following its believed incapability to name its own presidential tandem for the 2016 elections.

Belmonte denied the notion that the LP is set to break apart following a division among its ranks on whom to support for the 2016 elections. The lawmaker refuted the assumptions over the LP split after the failure to meet a consensus on Aquino’s supposed courting of Poe to become the party’s vice presidential bet.

“Definitely, I don’t see any schism in the LP… at this stage of the game when nobody has been chosen, when in effect, the field is still open.

“I think it is not unreasonable for various LP members to entertain all sorts of ideas,” Belmonte told reporters in Malacañang after Aquino’s signing of two economic bills.

The Speaker also denied earlier reports that he, together with his group, will leave the LP to support a “winnable” candidate, amid the erupting call among LP members that Mar Roxas will be the party’s standard bearer.

READ MORE...

“I certainly have no intention of leaving the LP,” Belmonte said.

A statement from Belmonte was reported last week, noting the intention of the lawmaker to bolt the LP, implying nonetheless that Roxas, who stands as putative standard bearer of the party, is a sure loser in the 2016 elections.

Roxas is a consistent cellar dweller in pre-election polls, far behind Senator Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay. But, Belmonte said that while such surveys are considered as an important factor, the President’s decision is preponderant.

The House leader sought to tame down public clamor on the LP divide, saying that “the important thing is, once a decision and the right process have taken place, they are behind it, and I have no doubt that they will be.”

Recently, Sen. Ralph Recto, a staunch sentinel of the LP as well, noted that the party must become open to deciding who the party’s presidential and vice presidential bet through a party convention. Recto said that if he would have his way, the party should decide as political parties in “mature democracies” should, referring to the United States.

However, Belmonte shunned his statements, insisting that the party does not need a party convention, as long as President Aquino, who chairs the party, consults with party leaders in choosing candidates for the 2016 polls.

Despite Aquino’s failure to reach an agreement with Poe at the end of their final meeting prior to his last Sona , where he is expected to announce who the administration bet is, Belmonte noted that it would still be “ideal” if the administration will opt for a single 2016 ticket.

Single ticket ideal

“Any combination is a good one. The best one is having only one ticket supportive of the administration…Sheer logic says that if your supporters are divided, their chances will be lessened if they are not united,” he said.

The House leader added that the party is confident Aquino will be able “to reach out to our coalition partners and elicit their support.”

Aquino late Monday failed to reach an agreement with Poe on matters pertaining to the 2016 elections, where the latter is supposedly eyed by the LP as its vice presidential candidate, as observers noted the Aquino-led party’s fear of losing the 2016 polls if the senator runs for presidency, therefore dividing yellow votes between Roxas and her.

On Monday night, Poe said that her conversation with Aquino lasted five hours, and could be their last meting prior to the President’s Sona on July 27.

“I could sense the very difficult position PNoy is in right now,” the neophyte senator said. “I understand and sympathize with his predicament and situation. I consider him a true and sincere friend and he has my utmost respect,” Poe said in a statement.

The senator dropped hints at going solo and claimed that Aquino reiterated that unity among allies is the best for the country.

“In the end, we both agreed to continue, in whatever capacity, striving and working for our countrymen and for the betterment of our children’s future,” Poe added.

Stalwarts from the LP have been keen on backing Roxas as the LP’s standard bearer, but Poe, with her survey figures and public appeal, which the putative LP presidentiable reportedly lacks, were key to her being considered as a possible contender for the 2016 polls.

Some critics have noted that Poe would be the only one to present a “true” competition against Vice President Binay, who has already beaten Roxas in the Vice Presidential race in 2010.

LP’s position offer for Poe did not seem to interest the senator, as she reportedly junked the idea of her becoming an LP member to be anointed by Aquino.

The President earlier revealed that he is closer to choosing his anointed for the 2016 polls, while noting that his recent meetings with Poe and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero reached agreement that his“straight path” of governance should continue.

The President sought to keep a coalition intact with the two independents, who won their senatorial seats under the banner of the LP. However, Poe and Escudero are seen to be gunning for the 2016 polls as a tandem, as they are seen after attending a local festival in Koronadal, South Cotabato.

The Tribune source however, revealed the information after Poe-Llamanzares sent a statement to the media late Monday night after emerging from a five-hour meeting with the President, she hinted that she had rejected the offer to work together with the administration for a common ticket for the 2016 presidential elections.

“One need not be a political expert to interpret Senator Poe’s statement. It was a rejection of PNoy’s offer for her to pair off with Secretary Mar,” said the source.

The source’s reference to a split within the LP validates the Tribune story yesterday baring of a plot by die-hard Roxas supporters to unseat Belmonte as Speaker and other party members holding key positions in the House but supporting the senator’s presidential bid.

According to the Tribune story, diehard Roxas supporters in the LP would move to declare all positions in the House vacant when Congress resumes sessions on Monday and then install LP secretary general, Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento as Speaker.

Belmonte is among those key LP members who have reportedly been supporting the bid of Poe.

However, Belmonte, in a text message, denied knowledge of any move to unseat him or any leader of the House of Representatives.

“Have not heard of it,” Belmonte told the Tribune through a text message when asked for reaction to the rumored coup in the House.

The source however maintained the split, among the coalition and the LP, would be inevitable.

“In fact, I heard the NPC (Nationalist People’s Coalition) would be announcing its decision to support Senator Poe tomorrow (Wednesday) and that Congressman Sherwin Gatchalian, would now be pursuing his senatorial bid under Senator Grace’s ticket,” the source said.

A member of the minority bloc in the House, Yacap Rep. Carol Jayne Lopez said no one has yet approached her regarding any move for a leadership change in the Lower Chamber.

“While I am a member of the minority bloc, it would be expected for those plotting to seize the House leadership to consult even those in the minority to gather support. But so far, no one among us in the minority has been asked by anyone regarding such plot,” Lopez told the Tribune.

A staunch supporter of Roxas, Lopez stressed if there would be any move to unseat Belmonte, it would not come from the Interior and Local Government secretary.

“Just recently, I asked him (Roxas) whom he would prefer as Speaker should he be elected as president and he told me bluntly, it would be Belmonte as he holds him in high regard. So, I highly doubt if he would take any part of any plot to have Speaker Belmonte unseated,” said Lopez.

While Poe-Llamanzares’ rejection of the offer for a Roxas-Poe tandem has yet to be confirmed, Lopez said that gathering of support for the Cabinet secretary as presidential candidate for 2016 is fast gaining ground as people continue to be reminded of “Roxas’ contributions to what the Aquino administration has achieved so far.”

“I believe the President never for a minute wavered, nor had second thoughts, on who he thinks is most reliable and had the strength of character to continue the programs started by his administration, especially poverty alleviation and economic development programs, and most critically, anti-corruption programs,” said Lopez.

“I heard Sen. Grace Poe is still unsure of her plans. And as it would be a great contribution to the vision of this admin to have Sen. Poe as Sec. Mar’s VP, we also have not wavered, nor had second thoughts, that we will carry on with the fight for Sec. Mar, while Senator Poe sorts things out and finds her ultimate decision,” she added.

House members mock proposal for Poe to slide down

Lawmakers have scoffed at a proposal that presidential survey front-runner Poe make a sacrifice and agree to be the running mate of Roxas, the presumptive standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party, calling it “unrealistic and totally out of touch.”

“The suggestion for Grace to step down is being made without regard for reality,” said House Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao.

Aggabao, a Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) stalwart, suggested that Poe has better chances of winning in the 2016 polls compared to other presidential aspirants, including Roxas.

“Grace is at the top of the heap at the moment. The idea that she should step aside is nonsensical at best,” Aggabao pointed out.

Rep. Gatchalian strongly believes the suggestion of LP’s political affairs adviser and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice that Poe’s slide to Roxas won’t happen.

“I highly doubt that will happen. Poe is leading by far in the surveys. The people want her. That’s the voice of the people,” Gatchalian, also a member of NPC, said.
Poe is the leading contender in the presidential race based on recent surveys. She is way ahead of Roxas, who has less than desirable ranking in the presidential preference surveys.

Rep. Sherwin Tugna of the Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption Partylist has a different view. He said that instead of talking about “sacrifices” the electorate should talk about platforms.

“We should be talking about the better platforms,” Tugna said.

This developed as Speaker Belmonte said that Poe is a good candidate.
“I think she is a good candidate,” Belmonte said yesterday in an interview with reporters in Malacañang.

Rep. Lopez said that President Aquino would always support one who is “most reliable and (one who) has the strength of character to continue with the programs of his administration.

“I believe the President never for a minute wavered, nor had second thoughts, on who he thinks is most reliable and had the strength of character to continue the programs started by his administration, especially poverty alleviation and economic development programs, and most critically, anti-corruption programs. I heard, she is still unsure of her plans,” Lopez said.

“It would be a great contribution to the vision of this administration to have Sen. Grace Poe as Secretary Mar’s VP (vice president), we also have not wavered, nor had second thoughts, that we will carry on with the fight for Secretary Mar, while Senator Poe sorts things out and finds her ultimate decision,” she said.
By Charlie V. Manalo, Gerry Baldo and Joshua L. Labonera


TRIBUNE

Danding won’t meddle in party decision; NP denies joining NPC Written by Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales Friday, 24 July 2015 00:00


COJUANGCO

Businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., founder and chairman emeritus of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, will not meddle in the members’ decision to support its presidential tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

This was revealed by NPC spokesman Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian who said that Cojuangco is not going to meddle in the decision process of the party.

“He (Cojuangco) does not interfere with the day-to-day operations of the party. He lets its members and officers decide,” Gatchalian said.

Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, NPC president, at a press conference on Wednesday said that most of the NPC members were inclined to support a Poe- Escudero tandem.

Agabbao said that Cojuangco will keep his hands off when the party makes a formal decision to support Poe and Escudero even if his son former Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco has already publicly declared to support Binay’s presidential bid.

The NPC, the second largest political party in the House of Representatives with 41 members. It has two members in the Senate – Senators Loren Legarda and Tito Sotto. There are also some 14 governors and 22 mayors as members.

What the NPC president says may all be propaganda, as stalwarts of the Nacionalista Party (NP) yesterday vehemently denied reports on the supposed commitment already made with another party, the NPC, in rallying behind the candidacies of Poe and Escudero for the coming 2016 elections.

This, in the event that Poe and Escudero decide to seek the presidency and vice presidency next year.

Senators Cynthia Villar, Antonio Trillanes IV and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. refuted claims that saw print in the Inquirer of Cojuangco and Manny Villar having sealed a coalition in support of the Poe-Escudero tandem.

Trillanes, who openly announced his intention to seek the vice presidency with or without the backing of NP, was quick in imputing motives to the camp of Escudero, his perceived strongest “rival.”

“This is just a propaganda ploy of Escudero because the NP will not carry both of them. At the very least, the LP may carry or adopt Poe but definitely not Escudero,” Trillanes said in a text message to reporters.

“He is not a member of the party (NP). If a member of the party already declared his intention to run for an specific position, then you can’t possibly adopt an ‘outsider’,” he explained.

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Sen. Alan Cayetano has also declared that he will be running for the presidency, yet the NP is said to be willing to adopt an insider, according to Trillanes.

Cynthia Villar, wife of NP president, former Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr., said they were surprised to learn of the announcement on their supposed alliance with the NPC.

“I do not know what is the basis of NPC President Giorgidi Aggabao for claiming that NPC and the Nacionalista Party (NP) are forming an alliance to support the candidacy of Poe and Escudero,” she said in a statement.

“We were as surprised as everyone,” Villar added.

Their party, she said, is still in the middle of consultation within its ranks and had set September as a deadline before they officially announce their decision on whether to participate or not in the coming May 2016 elections.

“To reiterate, we have to first determine the plans of our own members before we can express support for non-members. We are very proud of our party,” she said.

Trillanes echoed the claims of Villar saying that while he has already announced his bid for the vice presidency, their party has yet to hear from the end of Marcos and Senator Alan who are also believed to be eyeing a higher post.

“We are still waiting for the decision of Cayetano and Marcos. If neither of them will run as vice president, I believe Senator Cynthia categorically said NP will support my candidacy. But definiely NP will not carry Escudero,” Trillanes said.

Marcos’ office issued to reporters the NP’s official statement, saying that the supposed coalition to rally behind Poe and Escudero was devoid of basis since the party has not yet made any firm or final decision on the 2016 elections.

“The Nacionalista Party has not spoken to the Nationalist People’s Coalition or any of its representatives, much less has it come to an agreement, on matters like supporting a common presidential and vice presidential candidates. Definitely, we have not, as a party, expressed support for any candidates for that matter. It is most prudent for the Filipino voters to be more circumspect when information like this comes out,” the NP said.

Reports said a tactical alliance is looming between the NP, under former Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar, and them NPC), founded by Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., to support the “Poe-Escudero” presidential and vice presidential run.
The NP said the party is still in the process of conducting meetings and studying the role it will play in the 2016 elections.

The NP also assured that it has a deep bench with several members of presidential timbre like Senators Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., Alan Peter Cayetano, and Trillanes.

“The NP is scouting from its roster and will field its own presidential and vice presidential candidates, senators, congressmen down to the last councilor. The NP has its own timetable and never in any discussion did it entertain the idea of supporting non-party member presidential and vice presidential candidates,” it said.


SUNSTAR ONLINE

Drilon: LP united behind Roxas for standard bearer Wednesday, July 22, 2015 By RUTH ABBEY GITA


DRILON

THE ruling Liberal Party (LP) will not be headed for a split over its members' choice of presidential candidate, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Tuesday.

“I do not see a split down the road. The LP is united behind (Local Government) Secretary (Manuel II) Roxas. I can assure you, there will be no split down the road,” said Drilon, LP vice chairman, in a television interview.

Drilon said the President would endorse the party’s standard bearer by July 29 or 30, days after his last State of the Nation Address on July 27.

The Senate President reiterated that he, as well as the public, is expecting that the President would endorse Roxas. "Well, given all the circumstances, I think it is a reasonable expectation," Drilon said.

Aside from Roxas, several names like survey frontrunner Senator Grace Poe and Senator Francis Escudero are being floated as Aquino's potential successor.

Aquino met the three in a dinner last week but no consensus was reached. If Poe runs for president, Drilon said the LP is "prepared for all contingencies."

"Senator Poe is her own person. She knows what's best for herself, what's best for our country. We could only convince her so much," LP president and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters on Wednesday.

Poe is reportedly being courted by the LP to be the vice presidential running mate for Roxas.

"Certainly if he is anointed and he runs for the presidency, the vice presidential candidate must be somebody whom he could trust and be able to work with," Drilon said.

If Roxas is anointed as presidential bet, Drilon said the Cabinet official is going to make a declaration of his candidacy. Roxas also has to leave his post after the declaration, Drilon added.

“I would expect to him to already leave his post after that, so that he becomes a candidate and it becomes untenable for him to continue holding the post as Secretary of Interior and Local Government. If not immediately, shortly after that," the Senate leader said.

Drilon is also hoping that Roxas' survey numbers will go up once endorsed by Aquino, who enjoys higher satisfaction ratings compared to his predecessors a year before bowing out of office. "It will certainly have an effect. Again, the endorsement of the President cannot pull him down, it will only pull him up. That is difficult to dispute," he said. (with Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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