Aquino unfazed by Poe's impending announcement of presidential candidacy (Philippines Daily Inquirer)

The ruling Liberal Party (LP) is not at all worried about Sen. Grace Poe’s announcement of her political plans for 2016.

Worried? Why should we be worried [about] her announcing her plans? President Aquino, titular head of the LP, told reporters Monday in Iloilo City, where he inaugurated the P747-million Iloilo Convention Center and the Richmonde Hotel-Iloilo.

Aquino, however, said the LP would like to hear what Poe had to say.

But whatever it is, the LP is not worried because the party is moving away from personality politics to platform-based politics, Aquino said.

The party stands on a particular platform, the President said.

That is why, Aquino said, whatever her announcement is, we still insist that we will be advocating governance based on a specific platform rather than just any personality.

Announcement on Wednesday

A source from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) on Monday said Poe would announce her presidential candidacy on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Ang Bahay ng Alumni (Alumni House) on the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City.

The Inquirer verified the information with the management of Ang Bahay ng Alumni and learned that Poe’s camp had reserved the place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Contacted for comment, Poe’s office did not confirm or deny the information. In a one-line statement, it said, We’ll issue an advisory for Tuesday (today).

But someone from Poe’s camp sent this text message to Inquirer Entertainment: INQ interested to cover Grace Poe proclamation this week and find out ALL the celebrities backing her bid? Sept. 16,

UP Diliman, Sept. 16 5PM.

A source also confirmed to Inquirer Entertainment that Poe would announce her presidential candidacy on Wednesday.

It’s a gathering of family and friends, the source said. But anyone who wants to support is free to attend.

Expected are Poe’s friends from show business-longtime supporters of her parents, Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) and Susan Roces, considered King and Queen of Philippine movies.

The source said Poe would run as an independent.

She has no big machinery or party behind her. She is proclaiming on her own. She has no vice president, the source said.

The Inquirer also contacted ALL4GP Movement, which placed a full-page ad in this paper last week declaring all-out support for the daughter of FPJ, to ask whether the senator was about to announce her 2016 plans.

The declaration will be on Wednesday. It will be on that day that you will know the exact [time] and venue so you could avoid any hitches, ALL4GP Movement replied.

The NPC source said Poe would end the long wait for her decision and all speculations about her political plans, which started in June after she surged to the top of voter preference polls for next year’s presidential election.

Sen. Francis Escudero, Poe’s prospective running mate in the May 2016 elections, said in a radio interview last week that Poe would announce her plans sometime in the next two weeks.

But a source said Poe’s announcement could come as early as this week.

Escudero said he would announce his own plans for 2016 after Poe’s announcement, indicating that his decision hinged on Poe’s.

Poe and Escudero do not belong to any political party and they have long been expected to make an independent run for the presidency and vice presidency.

The Magdalo party-list group of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has promised to back Poe but not Escudero.

Trillanes has said he will seek the vice presidency as an independent candidate.

What now?

The LP tried to get Poe as a running mate for its presidential standard-bearer, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, but now that she is clearly no longer available, Aquino preferred not to say anything, even whether the party had other potential candidates in mind.

I believe I should not speak at this point, Aquino said, adding that the choice of a running mate would ultimately be Roxas’ decision.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, a vice chair of the LP, has been saying in recent days that the party should look for another candidate for Vice President because he believes Poe is running for President.

On Monday Drilon said Poe’s expected announcement validated his assertion that the LP should look for another running mate for Roxas.

We are not worried. From the very start, I have [been saying that we should strengthen] our candidate, Secretary Roxas, rather than rely on the strength of any other person. There is no change in [our] plan. We will continue to build [up] Secretary Roxas, Drilon told reporters in Iloilo.

There have been reports that the LP, faced with the prospect of a rejection from Poe, is looking at Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and even Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as potential running mates for Roxas.

Related posts