A LIBERAL Party (LP) stalwart said Monday that the party is open to supporting the tandem of Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Senator Francis Escudero in the 2016 elections.

Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice, LP vice chair for political affairs, said Roxas, the potential standard bearer of the administration party, is willing to accept Escudero as his running mate in case Senator Grace Poe will not run for higher office.

Escudero's last-minute endorsement of then Makati City mayor Jejomar Binay in 2010 gave birth to the Noy-Bi tandem of Binay and then senator Benigno Aquino III. Roxas lost to Binay in the vice presidential race.

Erice said Roxas is not vindictive and willing to accept Escudero as his running mate, especially that Poe is currently facing residency and citizenship issues that may prevent her from seeking higher office.

"At saka malapit na kaibigan ni PNoy (Pangulong Benigno Aquino III) si Chiz (Escudero) kaya walang problema sa amin kapag siya ang magiging runningmate ni Secretary Mar," said Erice.

"Kung hindi (matuloy ang Mar-Grace tandem). Okey naman kami sa Mar-Chiz," the lawmaker added.

Escudero is one of the senators who signed the blue ribbon committee report on the alleged corruption allegations against Binay, the would-be standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance in 2016 polls.

Meanwhile, Erice remained hopeful that President Aquino will convince Poe to be Roxas' running mate in the upcoming polls.

"Kami sa LP wala kaming duda sa citizenship ni Senator Grace. She is natural born citizen. Pero kinuwestiyon ng UNA ang kanyang residency kaya dapat maayos muna 'yun," said Erice. (Sunnex)