Mar won't slide down for Grace, says ally

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2015 04:48 PM | Updated as of May 23 2015 10:46 AM

MANILA - Liberal Party (LP) official Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice does not see Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas sliding down to be Senator Grace Poe's running mate in the 2016 presidential elections.

Roxas has not yet declared his plans for next year's elections but talks have been rife of a tandem between him and Poe, who is doing better than Roxas in presidential surveys topped by Vice President Jejomar Binay.

"I don't think so (sliding down). Nasa puso ni Sec. Mar na kailangan niya gawin ito para madala ang bansa natin to the next level. I don't think anybody can do that except for Sec. Mar at this point," Erice said.

"Si Sen. Grace, she's a good leader. [But] It would take more than MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) para ma-determine competence mo. Palagay ko, ang best training for Sen. Grace is to be the VP of Sec. Mar, pangunahan ang isang departmento at pagkatapos siya ang pumalit kay Sec. Mar. Yun ang best scenario for her, for our party and country," he added.

Poe, a junior senator, was chair of the MTRCB before she ran and topped the 2013 senatorial elections.

Erice added, "Walang mangyayari. I think it will be Mar-Grace. I don't want to preempt the President but reasons dictate we have to choose Sec. Mar Roxas if we will just think of our country. Kailangan natin ng mamumuno bukod sa tapat."

He also remained optimistic Roxas and Poe will get together despite the senator's preference for Senator Francis Escudero, whom she campaigned with in 2013 and who served as her father's 2004 presidential campaign spokesman.

"Nag-usap si Pangulong Aquino, Sec. Mar Roxas at Sen. Grace Poe, maliwanag naman... pinagkasunduan nila walang personalities, dapat ang pagkakasundo nila issue-based. Nagkasundo sila na kailangan good governance. 'Di lang sa 2016, you'll really need minimum of 3 good presidents para maitulak ang asenso ng bansa natin from a third world country to developed country."

"Sinabi naman ni Sen. Grace, maliwanag she will depend on the guidance of the President bilang matagal nang kaalyado ni Pangulong Aquino. Sinasabi niya kinakailangan natin ng basic parameters sa pagpili -- integrity, competence and experience. Dito sa mga pumuporma, wala naman lamang diyan kay Sec. Roxas sa parameters na yan," said Erice.