MANILA, Philippines – Amid talks of a strong alliance between the two, Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero are now open to a possible candidacy in 2016 without each other.
Poe reiterated both she and Escudero are independent candidates, saying they were unified by their own “initiatives” and not by a political party.
Poe, to illustrate that their political plans are not dependent on each other, said Escudero may run in 2016 without her, and vice-versa.
“Ang mahalaga sa independent kung ano man plano namin, matuloy man ang isa o hindi, hindi naman partido ang bumuo rito. Sarili naming inisyatibo o desisyon kung saka sakali. Kahit hindi naman ako matuloy, puwede pa naman matuloy si Senator Chiz at kabaligtaran ganoon din,” Poe told reporters in an interview on Thursday, July 30.
(What’s important with being independent is whatever we decide on, whether one of us pushes through or not… We were not consolidated by a political party. We had our own initiatives and decisions. Even if I don’t run in 2016, Senator Chiz can still push through with his candidacy and vice-versa.)
In a previous incident, Poe distanced herself from Escudero.
While Poe said Escudero’s decision to quit as Senate finance committee is a sure sign he is running for 2016, Poe was quick to point out it will not influence her 2016 decision.
What was seen as a formidable tandem months ago has now indicated possible division.
Escudero, who had repeatedly expressed his desire to run as Poe’s vice president, now said the two of them are “going through different decision-making processes individually.” In the text message he sent to reporters, Escudero emphasized and wrote the word “individually” all in capital letters.
He said they both realized they have to “make decisions on [their] own.”
This is a turnaround from the earlier pronouncements of the two.
Poe earlier said if and when she runs in 2016, she would be more comfortable running with Escudero, citing as reasons his help in the 2004 presidential campaign of her late father, Fernando Poe Jr, and during the 2013 elections.
Escudero, however, maintained he “will help and support Senator Poe in whatever she may decide to do in 2016,” whether she decides to run for president or vice-president, or even if she decides not to run at all.
He added he would support Poe in “whatever capacity she may ask of me.”
In her several meetings with President Benigno Aquino III, Poe admitted she felt Aquino wanted her to run as vice president of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Escudero, meanwhile, expressed his intent to run for vice president. – Rappler.com