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Mar Roxas to Grace Poe: Let's talk

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – In a surprise announcement on Friday, May 6, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II called on his rival Senator Grace Poe to talk "for the unity of our country."

"Citizens of good will from all walks of life are worried. They are concerned that damage is already being done to the country and our democracy. Uncertainty and the specter of a dictatorship are looming over our country once again," Roxas said in a press briefing that lasted no more than 3 minutes.

He went on to say that the Peso has dropped, affecting the price of oil, medicine, steel, and other imported goods. Investors are also putting their plans on hold, he lamented. 

"After 6 years of the corrupt being on the run, we now face a possibility of a leader coming into power who cares nothing about honesty, integrity, transparency, responsibility, or even just basic decency. Sa harap ng lahat ng ito, responsibilidad ng kahit sinong mamuno na pag-isipan ang interes ng pangkalahatan (In the face of all of this, it's the responsibility of whoever will lead to think of the general interest)," he added. 

He said anyone who wishes to lead the country has the responsibility to think about the interest of many, and what the country really needs.  

"Sa tingin ko naman, sang-ayon ang lahat: Mas mahalaga ang kinabukasan ng ating bansa, kinabukasan ng ating mga kababayan, kaysa political career ng kahit sinumang politiko o kandidato," he added.

(I think everyone would agree: The future of the country and our citizens is more important than the political career of any politician or candidate.)

"I call for unity. I call for decency. I call for democracy. I call for the rule of law. I call on Senator Poe: Grace, mag-usap tayo (Grace, let's talk)I will adjust schedules to your convenience. Sabihin mo lang kung saan at kailan, at darating ako. (Just say where and when, and I will come.) This is for unity, this is for our country, for our future."

The former interior secretary ranks either statistically tied with Poe for second place or  third in the latest presidential preferential surveys.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte still topped all 3 presidential preference surveys released this week: the ABS-CBN poll conducted by Pulse Asia, The Standard poll conducted by Laylo Research Strategies, and the latest SWS pre-election survey.

This, despite the controversial rape joke in April, and the latest accusation of Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV that Duterte did not declare a bank account that contained hundreds of millions in deposits.

On Thursday, May 5, Poe denied rumors she is withdrawing from the presidential race to give way to another candidate. While she did not name anyone, she was apparently referring to Roxas, who is said to have been statistically tied with her.

Roxas was supposed to run for president in the 2010 elections but gave way to now President Benigno Aquino III, whose campaign was boosted by the passing of his mother, EDSA icon and former president Cory Aquino. – Rappler.com