2016 race fight between Roxas, Poe – Drilon
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - October 13, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The May 2016 presidential race will be a fight between Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas and independent candidate Sen. Grace Poe, Senate President Franklin Drilon said yesterday.

“Based on the surveys, I see it as a fight between Mar and Senator Poe,” Drilon said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.

He said the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay, which started strong, appears to be losing steam.

“The three or four previous surveys indicate that his numbers are consistently going down. That means trouble for him,” he said.

Binay is facing corruption charges. He denies the accusations against him.

Poe is facing a disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Her status as a natural-born Filipino is being questioned. A foundling whose parents are not known, she claims she is a natural-born citizen.

Drilon said Poe’s numbers have either plateaued or gone down, while those of Roxas “have soared from four percent to 20 or 22 percent.”

“What will spell the difference for Mar Roxas are the accomplishments of this administration, the high trust and approval ratings of President Aquino and the nationwide political machinery of the Liberal Party,” he said.

He said Aquino is the only post-martial law president who enjoys high ratings in the homestretch of his presidency.

He said the fact that Roxas has a complete senatorial ticket would also help.

“Despite all these, we will campaign and work hard for our victory, for the victory of all our candidates. We will not be overconfident,” he said.

Three kings

Drilon said former President Joseph Estrada and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile have apparently abandoned Binay and his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

“The three are formerly known as UNA’s three kings. But Erap and JPE have endorsed the vice presidential candidacy of Sen. Bongbong Marcos, instead of Binay’s running mate, Sen. (Gregorio) Honasan,” he said.

Estrada, Enrile and former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos were photographed together during the launching of Senator Marcos’ candidacy. The photo has gone viral on social media.

Drilon said he could not understand why Enrile, despite his closeness with Honasan, would endorse Marcos.

“I think it’s a hit on Binay. Remember that Senator Honasan is Senator Enrile’s protégé’,” he said.

Enrile and Honasan were among the personalities that prominently figured in the 1986 Edsa Revolution that drove away the Marcoses from power. Enrile was defense minister of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. Honasan was Enrile’s chief of security.

Drilon expressed confidence Roxas’ running mate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, would beat her rivals.

“What will propel her to victory is her sincerity. You can feel it whenever she speaks,” he said.

Achievements

Reps. Romero Quimbo of Marikina City and Barry Gutierrez of the Akbayan party-list group – who were designated spokesmen of the “Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid (Coalition of the Straight Path)” ticket – said their campaign would focus on the achievements of the Aquino administration and the need to continue them.

Gutierrez said Aquino’s favorable ratings would help increase Roxas’ survey numbers. 

“We accept that there will be criticisms (against the administration), but we are convinced that there are more positives than negatives in the overall assessment on things,” he said. 

Gutierrez gave assurance Aquino would not interfere in the government if Roxas gets elected.

Quimbo, meanwhile, said Roxas remains the underdog compared to the other presidential contenders.

He noted that Roxas started with a four percent rating in presidential surveys, and though posting gains, still lags behind Poe and Binay. “He still has to catch up,” he said. – With Paolo Romero

ACIRC AQUINO ATILDE BINAY BONGBONG MARCOS DRILON ENRILE HONASAN LIBERAL PARTY MAR ROXAS ROXAS
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