Noy to go all-out for Mar – Abad
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - August 10, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino will campaign vigorously for outgoing Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the administration standard bearer, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said yesterday.

“He will go all-out for Mar Roxas to boost the chances of our candidate,” Abad said on the sidelines of budget hearings at the House of Representatives.

He said Aquino has been meeting with leaders of the Liberal Party-led administration coalition to get their support. However, Abad refused to go into specifics.

He also said the ruling party’s vice presidential slot remains open for Sen. Grace Poe.

Asked why the administration is still wooing Poe despite reports that she is keen on seeking the presidency, Abad said, “She has not yet declared that she is running for president.”

He said the LP has a Plan B in case Poe declares that she would run for president in next year’s polls.

Following Aquino’s anointment of Roxas as his preferred successor, Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite urged the President and his presidential candidate to move quickly to consolidate political forces supporting the administration.

Barzaga suggested that Aquino and Roxas meet with leaders of political groups that comprise the administration coalition like the Nationalista Party (NP), Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and National Unity Party (NUP).

“I am a member of NUP, but I am committed to Secretary Roxas. I believe I can convince many of our party mates to support him,” he said.

NUP is composed mostly of former members of Lakas, the ruling party during the Arroyo administration.

Former senator Manuel Villar Jr. heads the NP, while Aquino’s uncle, businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., is chairman emeritus of NPC, which supported Aquino in the 2010 elections.

Acting NPC president and Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao said most members of their party would support Poe if she runs for president.

“We will support Secretary Roxas if she does not run,” Aggabao said.

In a related development, Batangas Rep. Mark Mendoza, who is NPC secretary-general, said Roxas’ mother is inviting several members of the Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc. (CSFI) to lunch on Wednesday.

“It appears that nothing will be spared in their efforts to get Mar elected,” he said.

Panganinan Rep. Gina de Venecia, meanwhile, said she would be supporting Roxas’ presidential bid, even though Vice President Jejomar Binay, the opposition United Nationalist Alliance standard bearer, is a family friend.

“Now in 2016 and beyond, we see that the problems of our country are different. We need someone who can address all these tremendous problems that our country will be facing. I feel the most ready now is Secretary Mar Roxas after undergoing his past positions. My heart goes for Secretary Mar Roxas,” De Venecia said. – With Eva Visperas

ABAD ACIRC AQUINO AQUINO AND ROXAS BATANGAS REP BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD CONGRESSIONAL SPOUSES FOUNDATION DE VENECIA ROXAS SECRETARY MAR ROXAS SECRETARY ROXAS
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