Liberal Party leaders chide Sen. Poe for copying Aquino’s programs
Like spurned, sourgraping suitors, Liberal Party (LP) lawmakers chided Senator Grace Poe for stating “moth- erhood statements” in detailing her platform of government and for offer- ing the “Daang Matuwid” policy but leaving its captain, President Aquino, out of the loop.
Overnight, Aquino allies turned Poe’s critics.
“Copy-paste. It is the same programs of the current administration,” Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, said of Poe’ s lengthy speech at the UP Bahay ng Alumni in Quezon City Wednesday.
In her 24-minute address in the same place where her adoptive father, King of Philippine Movies Fernando Poe Jr. declared his intention to seek the presidency 11 years ago, Sen. Poe vowed to make her governance inclusive and transparent. No one will be left behind as the country marches towards progress, she said.
Rolling out her 20-point
agenda, Poe vowed to improve the state of education, agriculture and prioritize infrastructure. Although Poe acknowledged the gains of “Daang Matuwid”, she said “no one man or group holds a monopoly on “Daang Matuwid”.
Poe also aims to lower tax rates, give workers fair wages and find a way to lower power costs.
Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, LP vice chairman on political affairs and Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. also agreed that nothing is so new with the platform presented by Poe.
“It’s all motherhood statements, most of them have been done and being done by President Aquino. The real meat is in the details. It’s a good poetry but how about the prose? Paano Poe?,” Erice said.
“Will she agree to a debate with Mar and Vice President Binay on policy issues she had presented?,” he added.
For his part, Barzaga said, “I am looking ahead for her to lay down the concrete steps how her commitment would be realized. Motherhood statements are tiresome refrain to the ears of the voters.”
Equal chance Despite the presence of top Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) executives when she declared for the presidency, there is still no assurance that Poe will get the endorsement of the party – the biggest political party in the country.
Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga, NPC spokesperson for its House contingent, disclosed that 2016 presidential hopefuls Vice President Jejomar Binay and outgoing Interior Secretary Mar Roxas have an equal chance as Poe in winning the NPC endorsement.
Enverga said the NPC has recently named a 15-man executive committee (EXECOM) to deliberate on which candidate the party will support in 2016.
Aside from Enverga, also present at the UP gathering were Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao, NPC president; former Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy Jr., chairman; Reps. Mark Llandro Mendoza of Batangas, secretary general; Rex Gatchalian, spokesman and Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.
He revealed that there is an equal EXECOM representation among party supporters of Binay, Roxas and Poe.
Enverga said the EXECOM is expected to reach a consensus on the presidential issue within three weeks.
“But before doing that, the committee must first agree that the party must stand united behind whoever will win the endorsement,” he explained.
But, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., vice chairman of the Liberal Party and House Independent Bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, president of Lakas-CMD party welcomed Poe’s decision to join the presidential race.
“She will make the race more interesting,” Belmonte said, citing that Poe’s announcement did not come as a surprise.
Romualdez, who is reportedly included in Poe’s senatorial team said, described Poe’s move as “a very exciting development as she brings a bright dimension to the presidential elections.”
Non-LP congressmen welcomed Poe’s move to join the presidential derby, saying that this has further strengthened Philippine democracy.
“This is a welcome development in making our democracy even healthier, robust and vibrant,” said Abakada Partylist Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz.
Senior Deputy Minority Leader Nery Colmenares (Bayan Muna Party-list) said he and his group are inclined to back Poe.
“She promises a new hope for the nation. We had cooperative relations with her on some issues in the past and based on our talks she is committed to carry certain pro-poor and pro-people agenda,” the opposition lawmaker stated.
Former Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Romeo Jalosjos already had a change of heart. He decided to ditch his support for Binay in favor of Poe and Escudero.
“I can’t turn my back on Grace. Her family is very close to us, especially the father – FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.), her mother Susan, and Grace herself,” Jalosjos told reporters.
“I will be a traitor if I turn my back on her,” he said. “I can never turn my back on showbiz, my life is showbiz. The one feeding my family comes from showbiz, Eat Bulaga!,” he also said.
It was Jalosjos’ company, Production Specialists, Inc., that started the popular noontime variety show Eat Bulaga! in the late ’70s.
More than promises But Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada who is like a second father to the lady senator said “her platform is good. But let’s see how she will achieve that. She should tell us how she will do those things. It’s easy to say what she wants to do. But how she will do that?”.
YACAP partylist Rep. Carol Jayne Lopez, a staunch Roxas supporter also reminded Poe that “the Presidency is more complex than political platform put together by public relations consultants. It is unfair to make the more than 100 million Filipinos believe that solving the country’s challenges is as simple as putting together 20 bullet points of promises.”
Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. said Poe’s presidential bid will “impact negatively” on Binay.
“She might get votes from the opposition but Sec. Mar will benefit from a three-cornered presidential contest as it would make platform of continuity of the administration candidate even clearer to the people,” Tupas explained.
“Senator Grace is obviously a fan of Tuwid na Daan since she has quoted it in her speech and she said nothing new but basically a repeat of what she has learned from Tuwid na Daan, but she lost her chance to be with the originators of this noble anti-corruption concept,” Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez said. (With reports from Hannah L. Torregoza and Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce)