With a little over two weeks to go before the May 9 elections, Albay Governor Joey Salceda has announced his decision to junk administration standard bearer Mar Roxas and instead endorse Senator Grace Poe in the presidential race.
In a Facebook post published Friday night, Salceda said that he is supporting Poe because of her clear vision and heart for the poor and people in the countryside. “What we have learned throughout the years of working on the ground is that expertise is needed but it does not suffice. What one needs more to succeed is the heart – and the heart in the right place – to be able to truly help our fellow citizens,” the three-term governor explained.
Salceda also commended Poe’s commitment to addressing poverty and promoting countryside development and national competitiveness. “(Poe’s) single-minded focus on the poor will mobilize the entire government machinery and summon the whole society to lift 11.4 million families out of the vulnerable conditions in the countryside and gather them into the broad middle class,” he said.
He also announced that he is leaving the ruling Liberal Party and will instead continue seeking the congressional seat in Albay’s 2nd district as an independent. For her part, Poe’s campaign team immediately welcomed Salceda’s support. “Senator Poe is elated that she found a new ally to carry on this task. In the coming days, we expect more public servants with the same vision to join the Gobyernong may Puso wagon,” a statement from her camp said.
Switching-sides in the presidential race is something that Salceda has already done before. With just three weeks to go before the 2010 elections, he suddenly bolted the then-ruling party LAKAS-KAMPI-CMD and its standard bearer Gilbert Teodoro to join Liberal Party. Back then, he cited his long friendship with then-Senator Benigno Aquino III as a reason for his change in allegiance.
Just like Teodoro six years ago, Roxas is lagging badly in the presidential race according to most pre-election polls where he is ranked fourth out of the five candidates.