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LAGUNA, Philippines – It seemed like a timely joke for April Fool’s Day.
At a campaign rally here on Friday, April 1, presidential bet Senator Grace Poe mistook former Liberal Party member Egay San Luis for Caloocan Representative Egay Erice, the LP spokesman.
Poe said in a speech in the town of Lumban, her husband’s hometown: “Nais kong pasalamatan ang ating mga kasama ngayon. nais kong pasalamatan si Congressman Egay Eri –,” then stopped to laugh at her mistake, before continuing, “Egay San Luis at ang kanyang anak na si Rai-anne.”
Erice is one of Poe’s harshest critics in the administration party.
Asked by reporters about her minor blunder, Poe said in jest: “Wala akong binibigkas ha. Umpisa pa lang ng pangalan (I didn’t say anything. I just mentioned the first part of the name).”
Since San Luis wore yellow, the LP’s color, reporters asked if this might have been the reason for her confusion. Poe quipped, “Maaari (Maybe).”
San Luis, who is running for Congress in Laguna’s 4th district, is now supporting Poe. He joined her in all her sorties in the towns of Santa Cruz, Lumban, and Siniloan.
He was the regional LP chairman but bolted the party in October 2015, when the ruling party supported the candidacy of acting Governor Ramil Hernandez.
San Luis explained that his preference for the color yellow is not to be taken as a slight against Poe, as it has been his campaign color even before he joined the ruling party.
Asked how she viewed this act out of supposed “political convenience,” Poe said, “Yun nga yung mahirap sa mga may partido pa, pero mabilis din naman (That’s the problem with having a party, but it’s also quick),” then trailed off.
But she quickly said there is nothing wrong with it, as it does not necessarily mean she would give them favors over others, contrary to the popular notion that political alliances are built on such expectations.
“Pero para sa akin naman, kung pupunta kami sa isang lugar, gusto nila kaming suportahan hindi naman nangangahulugan na porket magkakampi tayo pag saka-sakaling nanalo ako, bibigyan kita ng mas magandang pagtrato kasi yun na ang ayaw natin,” Poe said.
(For me, if we go to a certain area and they want to support us, this doesn’t mean that just because we’re allies, if I win, I’ll give you better treatment. That’s what I don’t like.)
San Luis admitted he had a personal struggle hours before Poe’s arrival in the province.
In his speech, he recounted how he already wore white – Poe’s color – only to change to yellow after much thought.
“Kanina pong umaga, madaling araw, ako po ay nakaputing t-shirt dahil sa pagsalubong sana kay President Grace Poe kaya lang sabi ko sapul ng ako’y pumasok sa pulitika, dilaw ako kaya ayaw ko po maging plastik,” San Luis said in a speech in Santa Cruz town
While he maintained he is all for Poe, San Luis admitted he could not promise to deliver votes for the senator.
“‘Di ko maipapangako pero pipilitin ko po sa akong kakayanan ( I can’t promise it but I will try my best),'” he said.
For him, the memory of the late action hero Fernando Poe Jr and his supporters could help Poe in the 4th most vote-rich province, with nearly 1.7 million voters – Rappler.com