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Marcos asked to present platform in NUP meeting

HE has not even declared he is vying for the presidency, but Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was among the three candidates asked to present their platforms of government today, Monday, during the National Unity Party’s convention.

Some 500 delegates will decide which presidential candidate to support in the 2016 elections during the convention.

Marcos

Senator Grace Poe has declared she is joining the presidential race, but she snubbed the NUP’s invitation, secretary general Reginald Velasco said.

“We sent Senator Poe an invitation but she did not confirm,” Velasco said.

Marcos, he said, was invited due to the growing clamor from party members.

“While Bongbong Marcos has yet to officially make a declaration on whether or not he will run for President, the members decided they wanted to hear more from him after he said he was keeping his options open,” Velasco told The Standard.

The three invited presidentiables—Marcos of the Nacionalista Party, Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II of the ruling Liberal Party—will not meet one another or share the same stage  during the day-long convention at Hotel Sofitel.

They were given different time slots to speak, Velasco said. Each was given 15 minutes to address the convention, he said.

Marcos is to speak at 10:30 am, Binay at 11:30 am and Roxas at 1:30 pm.

“They cannot come together because the members requested that they be given time to go around the convention hall, shake hands with the members and have their pictures taken,” Velasco said.

He said Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was not invited because the mayor had repeatedly said he was not running.

“More than a show of force, the party’s gathering of our leaders from all over the country will be an opportunity to reaffirm our allegiance to the NUP,” said NUP chairman and Antipolo City Rep. Roberto Puno.

“We welcome the participation of the presidentiables as this will help our party members evaluate their respective platform of government and policy positions on major national issues,” said NUP president and Bataan Gov. Albert Garcia.

“The Party is expected to make a decision on who among the presidentiables will be worthy of our support after the convention,” NUP vice president and Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga said.

Velasco said about 500 NUP leaders wee expected to attend the convention.

Asked what criteria the party would use in choosing the presidential candidate to support, Velasco said it would be their “winnability.”

“The party members will not just rely on the surveys,” Velasco said.

“They will also verify the sentiment of the grassroots, but of course it would also depend on what the candidate can offer to the members.”

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