Leaders of the National Unity Party (NUP) have urged their members to wait for the organization’s collective decision before committing to support a presidential candidate in 2016.
Both Deputy Speaker Roberto Puno, the NUP chairman, and Bataan Governor Albert Garcia, the party president, said it was still too early to decide on who the organization should support for president and other elective national positions in next year’s polls.
“We would encourage our party mates not to decide this early and wait for the party decision to show we are united,” Garcia said.
Garcia issued the statement after over 500 NUP delegates and guests heard Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Bongbong Marcos and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas speak at the party convention held last September 28, 2015 at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.
Binay and Roxas have declared their presidential bids, while Marcos is rumored to either run for president or vice president next year.
They were invited, along with Sen. Grace Poe, another declared presidential aspirant, to present their respective platforms of government before NUP members.
During the convention, Binay said that if elected, his administration would be a “unifying” and proactive one, unlike the present government that is “reactionary instead of being visionary.”
The Vice President, who was the first speaker, expressed his support for legislative proposals to lower income taxes and bring in more foreign investments. He also said he would continue the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program but would put in place safeguards to prevent fund leakages.
“My administrasyon will be a unifying and healing administration. Let’s put a stop to vindictiveness,” Binay said.
Binay said local government units which have power plants in their jurisdiction should be given their fair share of the profits from operating these facilities.
He also said he would push for the review of the local government's share in the Internal Revenue Allotment, which is currently at 40%, against the 60% that the national government gets to keep.
Marcos said the country needs a “unifying” government, pointing out that the current administration’s ‘confrontational and adversarial” stance “has not done the country any good.”
“Instead of doing the job of extending services to the people, what they are focusing on is politics,” said Marcos.
Marcos also said the next administration should “bring back the sense of nationhood” among our countrymen. “We must return the pride we once had as Filipinos.”
“The next government in 2016 will have to make a priority. The infrastructure development that has been left behind by this administration will have to catch up. There are issues fundamental to the progress of our country,” Marcos added.
Roxas underscored the need to continue the “Daang Matuwid” (Straight Path) programs of the Aquino administration and highlighted the reforms it has implemented to increase funding for Philhealth and the CCT program.
“That’s why I have the courage to stand in front of you, to give respect to your party, as in courtship, to ask for your sweet yes in the continuation of Daang Matuwid in 2016,” Roxas said.
Roxas, who was the last to speak, said he felt confident that NUP members were not yet convinced by the two previous speakers because they all stayed behind to hear his views.
Poe failed to attend the convention but sent word that she would not be able to go because of a previous commitment. “I already met with a few leaders of the NUP, a few weeks ago and I’ve presented our platform of government to the public last September 16,” Poe said in a statement sent to the media.