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LP officials withdraw invite for Poe, Chiz

THE invitation to Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero, the front runners in the presidential and vice presidential race in next year’s elections, was withdrawn by Tawi-Tawi’s top officials who belong to the ruling Liberal Party because of their political differences.

Tawi-Tawi Gov. Nubert Sahali and his sister, Rep. Ruby Sahali, had earlier invited the two to attend the province’s foundation day on Sunday.

But Escudero’s media relations officer Ronnie Calumpita said they were later notified by the Sahalis that the invitation was being withdrawn.

“They’re from LP and the invited senators were not from LP,” Calumpita said.

Poe and Escudero, who ran as independent senators in the 2013 elections, said they will remain independent in next year’s elections, although they’d welcome any help from political parties.

“It is unfortunate that the invitation to attend the Foundation Day of Tawi-Tawi on Sunday was withdrawn for political reasons,” Poe and Escudero said in a  joint statement.

“We know that the people of Tawi-Tawi have been preparing for our visit on the invitation of Governor Nurbert Sahali and Congresswoman Ruby Sahali, who both belong to the Liberal Party.”

Poe and Escudero said they understood that it must have been very difficult for them to withdraw the invitation, and that they appreciated the invitation.

“We assure the people of Tawi-Tawi that we will continue to support their needs and they can look forward to our visit in the coming days,” Poe and Escudero said.           

The two are perceived to be the force to reckon with in the May 2016 elections despite their not having a political machinery. But the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the country’s second biggest political party, has expressed its desire to support their candidacies.

Escudero was a member of the NPC before he left the party in 2010 due to his plan to run for President, but he later decided against it.

Poe rejected the LP’s offer to be the running mate of resigned Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the administration’s standard bearer.

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