Mar negotiating with Leni, Ate Vi, Alan for VP

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - With Sen. Grace Poe set to declare her presidential bid today, Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II is no longer asking her to be his running mate and is now in talks with three other choices – Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Roxas, in an ambush interview, declined to divulge the progress of his negotiations with the three individuals, and maintained that he and the ruling party had no prior information regarding Poe’s plans to announce today her presidential run in 2016 at the University of the Philippines.

He pointed out that he and President Aquino had reached out to Poe in the belief that she could help the administration carry on its straight path advocacy.

“Sen. Grace began her political career with Team PNoy under the daang matuwid so we are urging her to remain with the daang matuwid. It’s up to her to decide which path to take,” he said in Filipino.

He was referring to the 2013 elections where Poe got the most number of votes for senator.

The LP standard bearer was at the Balara Elementary School in Quezon City where he was endorsed for his presidential bid by A Teacher party-list led by Rep. Juliet Fortuna.

In return, Roxas vowed to prioritize programs to further improve the quality of education in the country.

The former secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said the first five years of the Aquino administration saw the allocation of some P1.2 trillion to the education sector.

He said the amount was much higher than the allocation made by the two immediate predecessors of President Aquino.

He said former president now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada allotted P411 billion while the Arroyo administration gave the education department some P1.2 trillion over nine years.

He said the current allocation was only slightly less than the total amount spent for the sector in 12 years by the two previous administrations.

He said the sufficient budget for education has enabled the administration to address the shortage in classroom, books and other educational materials.

Platform, not personality

At Malacañang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said voters must look at platform, not personality, when it comes to choosing the next president of the country.

In a press briefing, Coloma said that President Aquino made clear on Monday in Iloilo City that the administration campaign would be anchored on principles and on preserving or even expanding its achievements.

“The programs that will be pursued are not based on personality. That is the President’s explanation,” Coloma said.

Coloma refused to comment on UP being used as venue of Poe’s announcement. The state university is supposed to be a neutral ground. He said the organizers would be in the best position to answer that issue.

Sought for comment on the possibility of Robredo becoming Roxas’ vice president, Coloma insisted the administration is focused on platform and not personality.

Apart from being part of Team PNoy in the 2013 elections, Poe got her appointment from President Aquino as chief of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

Amid legal and technical questions on Poe’s citizenship and residency, the Palace and the camp of Roxas have generally been mum on the issue while Robredo, who is also from LP, had shown discomfiture at the senator’s supposedly renouncing her citizenship.












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