News stories about Sen. Grace Poe’s fate as a presidential bet have been varied of late, with each telling the pros and cons of her chances of being retained in the race or disqualified altogether.
While we await word on the senator’s disqualification case pending at the Supreme Court, Poe and her running mate Sen. Francis Escudero received a timely boon with the Nationalist People’s Coalition confirming their support for the tandem.
The news was greeted of course with timely counter-feedback from the camps of both Vice President Jejomar Binay and Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas, as both sides claim that the NPC support is not 100 percent.
Roxas has a lot at stake here as the NPC is one of several parties that swung the votes in favor of former President Joseph Estrada during his quest for the presidency.
With the Nacionalista Party declaring a free zone in the vice presidency and Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance bereft of support from Estrada, the NPC’s endorsement is seen as critical for both Poe and Escudero.
How this will translate into the Cebu political landscape remains to be seen. Rep. Ace Durano of Cebu’s 5th district is an NPC stalwart and his decision to support Poe and Escudero in lieu of the Durano clan’s standing support (so far) of Roxas may influence how the votes will swing among Poe, Roxas and even Binay.
The NPC’s support of Poe also quashed any efforts by Binay to steal support from the group as the vice president also courted the NPC late last year before the start of the campaign season.
Binay may not have been 100 percent confident of swaying the NPC’s support to his UNA, but his aim may be to siphon off whatever numbers he can muster from the NPC in order to divide the house, so to speak, and still leave him with enough to win the elections.
That said, the latest surveys which showed him and Poe statistically tied isn’t enough to faze the vice president’s confidence that it is shaping up to be a repeat of the 2010 elections in which he was down in the surveys but eventually came from behind to beat Roxas for the vice presidency.
But the man responsible in a way for swaying public support, Senator Escudero, is on the other side. Regardless of last year’s meeting between the two men in Davao City whose details were undisclosed, Escudero isn’t about to pull a fast one on Poe lest he risk incurring public ire for it.
Until the Supreme Court disqualifies Poe, the two senators aren’t about to lose that NPC support to someone else in an election season that is quite competitive and down the wire.
For now, we can only hope the Supreme Court comes out with its ruling on Poe this month or next month in order to finally resolve this hanging question on her candidacy once and for all.
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