Presidential hopefuls try to win support of National Unity Party

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In the national convention of the National Unity Party (NUP), presidential aspirants tried to bag the party's support by presenting their platforms before the NUP members.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) Presidential hopefuls Manuel "Mar" II Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay were given the chance to win over to their side the National Unity Party (NUP) during the party's national convention on Monday (September 28).

Roxas and Binay made their case before the party, each claiming worthy of NUP’s support for the 2016 presidential elections.

According to Binay, his administration would be a "unifying" one.

Yung administrasyon ko will be a unifying and healing administration. Tama na po yung vindictiveness,” he said.

After Binay, Roxas came next. Roxas said he was happy that NUP members listened to what he has to offer.

"Parati natin tinitingnan kung nakumbinsi na natin ang kinakausap natin. Kaya laking tuwa ko na makita na punong puno pa ang hall dahil ibig sabihin hindi pa kayo nakumbinsi ng mga nauna sa akin," Roxas said.

Bataan Gov. Albert Garcia, who's the NUP president, said the party wants to evaluate the presidential aspirants’ platforms and policy positions on major national issues.

Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., one of those being eyed to run as Binay's vice presidential running mate, also attended the event.

It was evident that Marcos and Binay shared the same sentiments about the administration: He too sees the administration as vindictive.

For Marcos, the country should have a “unifying president.” That’s what Binay said he would be. 

“There seems to be a policy in the past few years of polarizing, confronting and eventually these adversarial form of governance where it becomes part of government policy to instinct some vengeance or some vindictiveness or to go after these so-called political opponents or enemies,” Marcos said.

Party members are expected to decide after the national convention who they will support in next year's polls.

NUP, which is composed of former allies of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is part of the administration coalition which backed Team PNoy in 2013. The party admits, though, that not all their members actually backed the senatorial ticket.

The party claims to be the country’s third biggest political party with 9 governors, 30 congressmen and more than a hundred mayors currently in office. NUP is also allied with 18 party-list lawmakers in the lower house under the coalition for peace and development.

NUP holding talks with Grace Poe

Independent presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe was not able to attend NUP’s grand national convention due to a prior commitment.

“I thank NUP for their invitation.," Poe said. "We notified them as early as Wednesday last week, that I would be unable to join them tomorrow. I already met with a few leaders of the NUP, a few weeks ago. And I’ve presented out platform of government to the public last September 16."

NUP Executive Director Reginald Velasco, however, confirmed that the party had been holding talks with other political groups that would most likely coalesce and declare their support for Poe.

The political groups reported to be backing Poe are the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), the Nacionalista Party (NP), and the progressive Makabayan bloc.

Velasco added that the party would create a special group responsible for discussions on possibly coalescing with other political parties.

He also pointed out that the party was not in a hurry to come up with a decision. It would likely wait until after presidential hopefuls had formally filed their certificates of candidacy before announcing who to finally support for next year’s elections.

CNN Philippines’ Ina Andolong contributed to this report.