Poe on tandem with Binay: ‘I don’t see it happening’

Carmela Fonbuena
Poe on tandem with Binay: ‘I don’t see it happening’
'They're talking about it in the media, but the truth is nobody has approached us,' Senator Grace Poe says of the Vice President's camp

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe said no one from the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay had approached her about the 2016 elections in spite of his media statements that he wants her to be his running mate.

Binibigkas nila sa media, pero sa totoo wala naman pong nagsasaad niyan sa amin,” Poe told reporters on Wednesday, May 20. (They’re talking about it in the media, but the truth is nobody has approached us.)

But even if the Vice President did make an offer, Poe would dismiss it.

Reporter’s question: If he offers po, would you?

Senator Poe: Sa ngayon naman, hindi ko nakikita iyon. (As of this time, I don’t see it happening.) 

Poe earlier challenged Binay, who is facing corruption allegations, to show honesty by responding to the various allegations against him.

“It should not just be his spokesperson who will explain. Even I, I cannot deny that we have common experiences, but we cannot ask him about these issues. I also want to know. That’s why it is so hard to attend hearings when the accused himself does not show up because it’s like you are talking behind that person’s back,” Poe said in Filipino. (READ: Poe to Binay: Honesty over experience)

Binay and Poe have been neck and neck in latest surveys of voters’ preferences for  president. Binay belongs to the opposition party United Nationalist Alliance while Poe is independent but ran as a guest candidate of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) in 2013.

Binay was the campaign manager of her father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr, in the 2004 presidential elections. Poe lost to President Gloria Arroyo, who was accused of massive electoral fraud.

It was November last year when Binay was asked about a possible tandem with Poe. He replied, “Alam mo naman sa pulitika (You know in politics), everything is possible.” 

It was Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and President Benigno Aquino III, president-on-leave and chairman respectively of LP, who have initiated talks with Poe. They have not revealed if Grace Poe is being eyed as a presidential candidate or Roxas’ running mate.

LP vice chairman Franklin Drilon was earlier quoted that LP prefers a party member to become its standard-bearer. He called on Roxas to already declare his intentions for 2016.

Roxas has been lagging in surveys, however.

Several camps are also floating the tandem of Poe and fellow independent senator Francis Escudero. Another camp wants former Senator Panfilo Lacson to get Poe as his running mate.

Poe said she had not decided if she’s running for a higher post in 2016. A neophyte senator, Poe’s term will expire in 2019 yet. 

She ran for a Senate seat in the 2013 elections. She was originally a common candidate of LP and UNA. LP forbade her and other common candidates to join UNA campaigns, however, later forcing the opposition party to junk them.

In spite of UNA’s move, the daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr made a surprise showing when she got the most number of votes in the senatorial elections. – Rappler.com


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