MANILA, Philippines – She felt she was asked to aim for the second spot but refused to give in.
Now, survey front runner Senator Grace Poe was the subject of President Benigno Aquino III's criticism for being "unripe" for the presidency.
In President Aquino's speech endorsing the presidential bid of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II on Friday, July 31, the Chief Executive alluded to Poe’s lack of experience.
“Kinapanayam ko ang tatlong tao, na sa aking pananaw ay kabalikat sa Daang Matuwid. Maganda nga po sana, na ang mga kailangan pang magsanay ay talaga pong magkakaroon ng pagkakataong mahinog at maunawaan ang tunay na lalim ng pagkapinuno,” Aquino said in a speech on Friday morning.
(I interviewed 3 people who, in my view, are allies in pursuing the Straight Path. The ideal situation is for those who still need experience to have the opportunity to have their skills and talents fully developed, and to understand all that is required of a leader.)
But the neophyte senator was quick to counter the President’s comment.
“’Di mapagkakaila na mas mahaba sa gobyerno si Secretary Mar. Sabi nga nila hinog na raw, pero ako naman kahit nga 'yung nahihinog pa lamang minsan pinipili na ng tindera at mamimili dahil mas tumatagal,” Poe said in an interview with reporters on Friday night.
(It cannot be denied that Secretary Mar has been with the government longer [than I have]. As they say, he’s already "ripe." But, for me, the unripe fruits are what vendors and buyers sometimes choose because these fruits last longer.)
Poe and Aquino met several times but failed to reach an agreement. Although the President did not directly ask Poe to run for vice president, she earlier admitted she felt that Aquino wanted her to be Roxas’ running mate.
Poe as Roxas’ VP?
Several Liberal Party members are still keen on getting Poe as Roxas’ vice president. (READ: Grace Poe, Miriam top VP choices for Mar Roxas – survey)
While Poe reiterated she has not decided on anything for 2016 yet, she expressed gratitude to the LP for their “continued trust” in her.
“S'yempre maraming salamat sa patuloy na tiwala. Ayoko na lang sagutin 'yan dahil hindi naman ako miyembro ng LP. Pero marami tayo ring mga nakakausap din doon na nakakasama ng LP,” Poe said.
(Thank you for the continued trust. I don't want to answer that because I am not a member of the LP. But I have talked to several people who are with LP.)
Talks of a Roxas-Poe tandem became louder when both Poe and Senator Francis Escudero said they were deciding on their 2016 plans “individually.”
Since they are independent candidates, Poe earlier said she could run without Escudero and vice-versa.
Escudero had openly expressed his desire to run as Poe’s vice president while Poe said she would be more comfortable to run with Escudero in 2016, citing his help in the 2004 presidential campaign of the late Fernando Poe Jr and during the 2013 senatorial campaign.
Asked if she is ready to run for vice president and face off with Escudero, Poe did not give a direct answer but instead said “friendship is important but most important of all is what you can do for the country.”
But Poe maintained, as far as she is concerned, “nothing has changed” with her relationship with Escudero. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email email@example.com