A MEMBER of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Cabinet has thrown his support to the tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero for the 2016 elections.
On Friday, former budget secretary and Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya Jr. bolted Arroyo's Lakas-CMD party and took his oath as member of the Nationalist People's Coalition in a ceremony held at its headquarters in Quezon City.
“I am here to support the tandem of Grace and Chiz… this is a strong message on where the heart of the party really is,” said Andaya, who joined 200 other local officials in the oath-taking.
He said the NPC, the country's second largest political group after the ruling Liberal Party, has made itself "available" to the tandem, which vowed to run as independent.
“We people from Bicol like to give it all heart. NPC is for Grace and Chiz, and so we are standing by NPC on that,” Andaya said.
NPC has no official declaration yet on whom to support in 2016, however.
Andaya also praised Poe for rolling out her 20-point agenda if elected president which includes promises to lower income tax rates, bring down electricity costs, expand scholarship programs, and institutionalize free lunch in public schools.
“The agenda is rooted in experience. They have learned from the (previous) administrations. This tandem knows that government services should be improved, and that the mistakes of the past won’t happen again. This is a fresh start,” he said.
Poe, who ruled recent surveys of presidential hopefuls, announced on Wednesday her bid to succeed President Benigno Aquino III in 2016.
She then endorsed Escudero as her running mate at the historic Club Filipino in San Juan City the following day. (Sunnex)