Poe, Escudero in NPC bailiwick

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero went to South Cotabato, a bailiwick of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), in their first public appearance after a meeting in Malacañang. Photo by Rean Hacosta, ABS-CBN News SOCCSKSARGEN

SOUTH COTABATO - Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero are in a bailiwick of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) in their first public appearance since a very important dinner in Malacañang that was supposed to decide a crucial question in the 2016 presidential elections.

Poe and Escudero are in South Cotabato, whose top officials come from the NPC and whose other members just recently expressed openness to adopting Poe should she run for higher office.

The two independent senators are among the invited guests to the 2015 T'nalak Festival at the South Cotabato Sports Complex in the provincial capital, Koronadal City.

South Cotabato's Governor is NPC's Daisy Avance Fuentes. Its two congressmen are NPC's Pedro Acharon Jr. and Ferdinand Hernandez. Half of the provincial board comes from NPC.

Koronadal City itself has an NPC vice mayor, Elirodo Ogena, though its mayor is from the Liberal Party (LP), Peter Bascon Miguel.

Aside from Poe and Escudero, another political guest is Las Pinas Rep. Mark Villar. All three politicians are expected to give their own messages during the program.

Poe and Escudero were among the invited guests to the 2015 T'nalak Festival at the South Cotabato Sports Complex in the Koronadal City. Photo by Rean Hacosta, ABS-CBN News SOCCSKSARGEN

The T'nalak Festival is on its 16th year. It is named after a handwoven cloth of the T'boli indigenous people.

Aside from attending the festival, both senators will be giving radio interviews with local media.

Escudero was a stalwart of the NPC until 2009 when he resigned to turn independent.

Poe and Escudero will have a second dinner with President Aquino and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas next week.