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LP stalwards drop Roxas, shift to Poe

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MANILA ― More Liberal Party (LP) members from local government units (LGUs) have dropped former Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and threw their support behind the tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero, independent presidential and vice presidential candidates.

With a month before the May 9, 2016 elections, Poe gained the support of former Laguna congressman Edgar San Luis, formerly the regional chairman of the ruling Liberal Party in Southern Tagalog IV-A and son of long-time governor Felicisimo San Luis.

 Rep. Recom Echiverri of Caloocan City openly supported Poe and Escudero during his proclamation rally in North Caloocan with Partido Galing at Puso senatorial bets incumbent Senator Vicente Sotto III, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, Atty. Lorna Kapunan, Neri Colmenares and Valenzuela Rep. Win Gatchalian.

During the sortie of Partido Galing at Puso in Lumban, Laguna, the hometown of Poe's husband Neil Llamanzares, San Luis personally introduced and endorsed Poe as his presidential candidate.

“Mga kababayan, ang susunod na presidente ng Pilipinas, si Senador Grace Poe,” San Luis told the cheering crown in Barangay Sto. Nino of this town, beside the San Sebastian Church.

In October 2015, San Luis had bolted the ruling party and filed his candidacy for Laguna’s fourth congressional seat of the House of Representative.

”I don’t know what happened to them. But for me, if we will go to any area and they want to support us, it does not mean that I will give them special treatment if I will win. We just want unity,” Poe replied when asked for comment on San Luis’ declaration of support.

It was learned that Roxas dropped San Luis in favor of Laguna Rep. Benjamin Aggarao in the 2013 midterm elections, and he (San Luis) instead ran for governor but lost to Jorge Estregan “ER” Ejercito, who was eventually disqualified for excessive campaign spending.

In October last year, Aggarao figured in the lewd dancing involving scantily-clad women who were purported “gifts” by senatorial aspirant Francis Tolentino, then chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), for Aggarao's 40th anniversary in public service.

Aggarao confirmed this and said the dance group, called “Playgirls,” was sent by his friends whom he had yet to identify, but not by Tolentino as reported.

Aside from San Luis, Siniloan Mayor Eduardo “Eddie” Tibay and Vice Mayor Roberto “Obet” Jacoba also endorsed the candidacy of Poe and Escudero.

In her speech during a mini-rally in Siniloan town, Poe welcomed the support by Tibay and Jacoba, including local officials from Paete, Mabitac, Pakil, Famy and Kalayaan,

“Sa ating mga kababayan, importante rin po na ang gobyerno ay may puso, nararamdaman ang inyong mga pinagdaraanan. Sabi nila bago daw ako kaya hindi pa raw ako dapat tumakbo bilang pangulo. Pero hindi naman nangangahulugang bago ay walang kakayanan. Hindi ba mahilig naman tayo sa bago? Bagong saing, bagong ligo, bagong bahay, bagong graduate, bagong boyfriend, bagong girlfriend, bagong buhay, bagong bayan at bagong Pilipinas, kung saan walang maiiwan,” Poe said.

Minutes after her speech, Poe paid a courtesy call on Pagsanjan Mayor Maita Ejercito, wife of dismissed former Gov. ER Ejercito. Husband and wife are both members of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Poe, however, denied the couple has endorsed her presidential bid, saying it was customary for her to pay a courtesy call on local chief executives she visits.

“There’s nothing like that. Maybe it’s better to ask them about it. But I didn’t solicit their support. But of course, we are thankful to them for welcoming us openly in their province,” Poe said.

“Of course (he remains with UNA) and I remain independent,” she stressed.

Echiverri, incumbent LP congressman, endorsed Poe in his proclamation rally in North Caloocan.

Echiverri openly supported Poe after he was allegedly dropped by LP as its mayoral bet, picking instead the incumbent Mayor Oscar Malapitan. Echiverri supported President Aquino in the 2010 elections.

Last year, Echiverri took his oath as Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) member.  In the Poe-Chiz proclamation in front of Quiapo Church in Plaza Miranda, Echiverri was seen and acknowledged by the Partido Galing at Puso.

Laguna has 6 cities, 24 municipalities, 681 barangays and 4 congressional districts while Caloocan City has two congressional districts and 188 barangays.

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