Controversies a waste of people’s time – Poe

Bea Cupin
Controversies a waste of people’s time – Poe
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II defends the senator anew against the opposition’s tirades, calling on parties to 'elevate the level of discussion'

ILOILO, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe cannot wait for the controversies surrounding her citizenship and her eligibility for a higher post to die down so public discourse can focus on the “problems of our fellowmen.” 

“Sana pag natapos na itong problema na ito ay dumako na tayo doon dahil ito ay nagiging masyado nang personal sa akin at sa tingin ko naaksaya na rin ang oras ng ating mga nakikinig,” she told reporters on Friday, June 5, during a trip to her home province.

(Hopefully when this is over and done with, we can move on to the problems of our fellowmen because it’s getting too personal. We’re wasting the people’s time.) 

This week, Poe’s eligibility to run for vice president or president was questioned by two officials from the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). They said she didn’t meet the constitutional requirements that a candidate for the two highest posts should have lived in the Philippines for at least 10 years and should be a natural-born Filipino.

Poe has debunked and the issues raised against and managed to turn them into an issue of equality for all children, regardless of the circumstance they were born in, whether they know their biological parents or were foundlings like her. 

‘Elevate the discussion’

UNA’s “revelations” came the same week a survey showed Poe inching dangerously close to Vice President Jejomar Binay, the opposition’s standard-bearer in 2016. Poe also recently signed a Senate panel’s draft report that recommended plunder charges against Binay over an allegedly overpriced Makati building building during his term as mayor. 

President Benigno Aquino III himself has called on the word war to end, even as UNA’s interim president Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco apologized that the issue he raised on Poe’s residency caused damage on the ties between the senator and the Binay family. 

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the presumptive standard-bearer of the Liberal Party, came to Poe’s defense anew on Friday and challenged the opposition to “elevate the level of discussion.” 

“Ano bang pinag-uusapan dito? Tapunan lang ba ng kung mga anu-anong issue, issue kuno or pinag-uusapan natin dito ‘yung kinabukasan ng bansa natin?” Roxas told reporters in Sorsogon.

(What are we talking about here? Are we just going to throw around one issue, one supposed issue after other or are we going to talk about the future of the country?) 

Roxas had previously met with Poe to talk about how to continue the Aquino administration’s reforms and the 2016 elections. Nothing concrete was announced following the meetings, but Roxas said that he was looking for an “ally” come 2016. 

Poe, meanwhile, said it might be best for her to remain an independent candidate. –


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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.