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ILOILO CITY, Philippines - It's a big loss but they respect the United Nationalist Alliance's decision to remove them from its senatorial list.
Team PNoy senatorial bets Sen Francis Escudero and former censors chief Grace Poe, however, are a little confused. They recalled that when UNA first invited them to join the coalition as adopted bets, it set no conditions. They said they were surprised when UNA people started attacking them for not joining their rallies.
"Sa kabila ng aming kalungkutan at malaking kawalan dahil sa paglalag sa aming kandidatarura, ginagalagang namin ang pasya ng UNA. Malaking kawalan pero sino kami upang magdikta at humingi ng tulong na hindi nila kayang ibigay," Escudero told reporters before the Team PNoy rally here.
"Pulitka lang yan. Sa punto de vista ko, kaibigan ko pa rin silang itinuturing," he added. (It's just politics. I still consider them friends.)
Poe said she was not surprised by UNA's decision but was hurt by UNA's attacks against them. "Malungkot ako pero hindi ako nagulat. Marami na din nabitawan [silang salita]," Poe said.
UNA stalwart fomer President Joseph Estrada is her godparent, the best friend of her late father Fernando Poe Jr. She said she expected them to help her, too.
Poe said she understands Estrada's situation, adding he may have been unable to prevail over his party mates.
But Poe says she cannot be accused of abandoning UNA because UNA did not offer her a slot in its senatorial ticket until two days before the filing of candidacies, when she was sent a Certificate of Nomination. She took that move to mean that UNA had doubts she would win.
"Ilang beses an rin ako nagparinig sa kanila. Marami ang witness diyan. Nagparnig ako na the president is considering me. Siguro ninenerbyos sila kasi neophyte lang ako. Dehado kasi ako. Hindi ako sikat gaya nila," said Poe.
Escudero also said he refused to join UNA's subsequent sorties because of the hurtful remarks against them by UNA leaders.
"Maliwanag na usapan bago nagsimula ang kampanya. Nagulat na lang ako kung anu-anong salita at putik ang narinig ko. Sa huling usapan namin ni Toby [Tiangco], hindi muna ako dadalo kasi masasakit ang mga salita nila. Siguro magpapalamig muna kami," Escudero said.
Escudero campaigned for UNA stalwart Vice President Jejomar Binay in 2010. He helped the "Noy-Bi" campaign, endorsing President Aquino and Vice President Binay who had different running mates.
Legarda said she will remain friends with UNA stalwarts. "I am grateful for the opportunity extended by UNA to me. I regret their decision to drop the common candidates from the slate, but I respect it and maintain my high regard for the leadership of UNA," Legarda said in a statement. - Rappler.com
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