MANILA, Philippines – She may be unsure yet of the position she will seek, but Senator Grace Poe sure is preparing for 2016.
The neophyte senator – front runner in presidential preference surveys – admitted Wednesday, August 5, she is carefully working on her 2016 campaign platform, even as she repeatedly said she has not decided yet whether to seek higher office.
Poe said she wants her detailed programs and promises to be completed first before she decides.
“Sinasabi ko na rin po sa inyo ngayon na 'yung plataporma ng gobyerno, 'yung pangako sa taumbayan ay inihahanda na rin po namin at hangga’t hindi po nakukumpleto iyon ay hindi ko masasabi sapagkat ang bawat isa doon ay kailangan kong suriin mabuti kung papaano ko matutupad kung saka-sakali ang mga pangakong iyon,” Poe said in an interview with reporters.
(I am telling you that I am preparing my platform of governance, the promises to the people. Until it’s done, I cannot say…because each one needs to be scrutinized, like how I can deliver on those promises, if ever.)
Poe said she sees nothing wrong with this. After all, she said, whether she runs or not, she still has 4 more years in the Senate.
The neophyte senator said people from various sectors are helping her understand the different issues.
“Sabi naman ng nanay ko, lahat naman ng paghahandang iyan ay hindi naman masasayang kahit na manatili ka sa Senado sapagkat ito naman ay serbisyo pa rin. Pero sa totoo lang, maraming tumutulong – mga propesor, mga miyembro ng business, iba’t-ibang sektor kahit sa agrikultura, kahit sa environment – na nagbibigay ng kanilang opinyon at tulong para mas maintindihan ko ang kabuuan ng nangyayari sa ating bansa,” Poe said.
(My mother told me, whatever preparation I do would not be put to waste because I still have years in the Senate. That's still service. But, to be frank, many people are helping me understand the true state of our country – professors, businessmen, agriculture sector, and even from the environment.)
Drunkard? Abusive? Addict?
Even if she has not declared plans to run for higher office, Poe already faces allegations of being a drug addict, a drunkard, and an abusive employer.
While Poe admitted she drinks on social occasions, she dismissed the allegations. The senator said she is confident the truth will eventually come out.
“Alam mo, nalulungkot ako doon, nambubugbog daw, lasenggo, nag-rehab – lahat na po iyan tinatapon nila. May mga lalabas daw. Alam niyo po, kapag nasa panig ninyo ang katotohanan, hindi naman po ako natatakot diyan,” Poe said.
(You know what, I'm saddened by those [accusations]. Abusive, drunkard, underwent rehab – they're throwing everything and many more will come out. You know if truth is on your side, I don't fear those issues.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org