Nationalist People’s Coalition senatorial candidate Win Gatchalian said their party can deliver “command votes” that would ensure the victory of NPC presidential candidate Grace Poe and her running mate Chiz Escudero.
“Our party is the second biggest political party in the country based on the number of incumbent congressmen, governors and city mayors. NPC incumbent governors and mayors can deliver command votes in their respective areas,” Gatchalian told median during the weekly Pandesal Forum hosted by veteran newsman Wilson Lee Flores.
NPC, which was formed by businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco in 1991, counts 2,469 incumbent officials among its ranks which include two senators, 37 congressmen, 12 provincial governors, 14 vice governors, 106 provincial board members, 23 city mayors, 19 city vice mayors, 205 city councilors, 217 municipal mayors, 229 municipal vice mayors, and 1605 municipal councilors.
Gatchalian,an exclusive candidate to the senatorial ticket of Poe-Escudero’s Partido Galing at Puso (PGP), maintained that incumbent NPC officials in various provinces and cities will use their respective machinery and tap their command votes to help the Grace-Chiz tandem to achieve victory in the May 9 polls.
Gatchalian maintained that the NPC is “solidly behind Senator Grace” despite claims by other presidential candidates that they have the support of the country’s second largest political party.
The Valenzuela City congressman said they will talk to other members who may want to support other presidential aspirants amid the official announcement of NPC president and House Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao that 90 percent of party members back the decision of party leaders to campaign for Poe and Escudero.
“Earlier, ang estimate ko is 80 percent of NPC is supporting Senator Grace and Senator Chiz in the absence of an official declaration. But ang official statement po ng aming partido ay as high as 90 percent ang sumusuporta kina Senator Grace and Senator Chiz. So this is a welcome development and malaking bagay ito sa kandidatura ng tandem because it will give them an instant machinery,” explained Gatchalian.
The NPC senatorial bet added: ”Bago pa lang kasi (ang announcement) so I expect yung remaining 10 percent na supposedly hindi sumusuporta will reevaluate their position. NPC will encourage all members to support the party’s decision,”
When asked during the open forum what his prognosis on Poe’s disqualification case, Gatchalian again expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will decide in favor of Poe. “Being part of NPC for 15 years, pinag-aralan naming mabuti itong kasong ito. Naniniwala kaming malalagpasan ito ni Sen. Grace,” he said.
Gatchalian said the case in the High Court is not only about Senator Poe. “It is also about foundlings and it will be unjust for foundlings kung adverse ang decision kay Senator Grace.”
“NPC is confident that the Supreme Court’s decision on Senator Poe’s disqualification case will be consistent with democracy and consistent with protecting the rights of foundlings as natural born citizens and of all Filipinos who want to serve the country,” Gatchalian said. (R. Burgos)