A LIBERAL Party official denied on Saturday that 200 of its members have jumped ship to the Nationalist People’s Coalition and dismissed the story as mere propaganda of the camp of Senator Grace Poe who declared her intent to run for President in 2016.
“That is only propaganda of the camp of Senator Poe and Senator [Francis “Chiz” Escudero]. We all know that Senator Chiz’s camp is good at that even before,” Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice said in Filipino during an interview over radio station dzMM on Saturday.
Erice, the LP political affairs adviser, said the NPC, the second largest political party in the country, has repeatedly tried but failed to recruit LP members.
“It’s true that they have been talking to many members of the Liberal Party, but up to now, they have not succeeded in turning the members of the party. Yesterday [Friday], they said 200, but they didn’t even mention their names,” Erice said.
The LP leader also criticized the supposed attempts of the NPC to pirate and turn members of legitimate political parties.
“That is such a bad practice, to pirate and turn members of legitimate political parties. Does that mean, party membership is only for convenience and not for principles?” Erice asked.
But NPC spokesperson and Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga confirmed that 30 percent of NPC’s 200 new members were from LP while 50 percent are from the National Unity Party and the rest from the United Nationalist Alliance.
Enverga named Rep. Nonoy Andaya of Camarines Sur and Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac of Muntinlupa City as among those who took their membership oaths to the NPC.
“We are bent on fortifying our strength and the forces throughout the country. We will be expecting much more oath takings in the coming weeks,” Enverga said in a separate interview with dzMM.
Enverga said most of the former LP members are local officials from Batangas while the others are from Laguna, Quezon and Muntinlupa. Most of these officials have long expressed their desire to join the NPC in apparent frustration at the LP.
“There is no need for us to brag. Those who were inducted yesterday [Friday] had long signified their plan to join our party,” Enverga said, adding that the party did give out a list of the new inductees.
Enverga said that while the NPC has yet to officially decide who to support in next year’s elections, it is likely that it would support the vice presidential bid of Escudero because he was a former member of the party until 2010.
“Although Senator Chiz has already left our party, he remains close friends with most of our members simply because of the length of his association with many party members,” Enverga said.
The NPC has also earlier heaped praises upon Poe’s accomplishments and stressed that questions about her citizenship is not an issue for their party.
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