Drilon on LP pursuing Poe: Stop it now

For Senate President Franklin Drilon, the Liberal Party (LP) should now abandon its efforts to woo Senator Grace Poe as running mate of presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas II in 2016. “Stop it now,” Drilon, vice chairman of the ruling political party, said in a media interview on Friday.

Drilon believes that Poe will run for president.

“In my view, Senator Grace Poe is already a candidate for president. The writings are on the wall. She will run. She has been going around, making speeches in various schools and organizations,” Drilon said.

The Senate leader said he will ask the LP National Executive Council (NECO) to convene as soon as possible in order to nominate and approve their vice presidential candidate for 2016. “So we’ll prepare and complete our slate for 2016, including the senators. So I will ask our acting party president Secretary Jun Abaya to convene the council,” he said.

He said the possible names that the LP’s NECO will consider include Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, Naga City Rep. Leni Robredo and Senators Allan Peter Cayetano and Antonio ‘Sonny’ Trillanes IV.

“Senators Allan Cayetano and Sonny Trillanes made themselves available but that would necessitate a coalition with the LP. They cannot possibly nominate them because they are not LP,” he explained. Cayetano and Trillanes are members of the Nacionalista Party (NP) which coalesced with the LP in the 2013 midterm elections.

Cayetano said he will consult with Roxas about his proposal to convene the LP’s NECO to decide on the party’s vice presidential candidate.

“There are other names. That’s just an initial thought. But what is important is Senator Poe, I think, is already a candidate for president,” Drilon said.

Drilon, however, clarified that he has not talked with Poe about her political plans in 2016.

“In fairness, she has not mentioned anything to me about 2016,” Drilon said.