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Liberal stalwarts deny turning local officials against Poe

A member of the House independent minority bloc said Friday they did not discount the possibility of Liberal Party stalwarts exerting political pressure on local officials to turn them against Liberal Party officials have denied exerting pressure on local officials to turn against independent presidential and vice presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe and Francis Escudero, respectively.

This came up as the invitation to the two to Sunday’s founding anniversary of Tawi-tawi was withdrawn.

Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz said: “If the same was instigated by the LP, it just shows that it will not hesitate to use every means fair or foul to gain advantage this early in the game.”

The Liberal Party’s standard bearer for the 2016 presidential elections is former Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

Liberal stalwarts, however, denied this was the reason for the withdrawal of the invitation.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte does not believe that the LP would do such a thing. “I do not believe LP applied pressure,” Belmonte, LP vice chair, told The Standard. “To me it is up to the locals [whether they will allow themselves or not to be pressured by anyone].”

Quezon City Rep. Bolet Banal, another Liberal Party official, said that the LP does not need to do extra effort nor to resort to any desperate move to improve the rating of its presidential bet.

 “This early in the game, Mar Roxas is already in a statistical tie with them.    In the coming months, I think more people will appreciate and value Mar’s integrity and loyalty to our country,” Banal said.

The reported withdrawal of invitation to Poe and Escudero was also denounced by the two senators.

In a joint statement, Poe and Escudero said that the invitation had been withdrawn for political reasons.

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