Gordon: LP, UNA asked me to file case vs Grace Poe
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Senatorial candidate and former senator Richard "Dick" Gordon revealed that members of both the administration and opposition asked him to file a separate disqualification case against presidential polls front runner Senator Grace Poe.
In an interview with ANC on Tuesday, October 20, Gordon said he was approached by some of his schoolmates from the University of the Philippines who are members of the ruling Liberal Party and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). (READ: Gordon: Groups asking me to file disqualification case vs Poe)
Gordon earlier told Rappler he would not file a separate case against Poe, saying he is "not opportunistic."
Gordon finished 13th in the 2013 senatorial race that elected only 12. He would be eligible to a Senate seat if Poe gets disqualified due to pending citizenship issues.
"I'm not interested in getting it from the backdoor. I want to make sure the people realize that if they're going to get a country, if they will have real leaders, they have to have honest-to-goodness, clean and fair election. You don't have that right now. The field is not level," he said in an interview with ANC.
With this, Gordon said Poe thanked him for not pursuing a case against her. Poe is facing at least 3 disqualification cases against her both in the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections.
Former Senator Francisco "Kit" Tatad filed a petition seeking to disqualify Poe from the presidential race and "forever" bar her from public office. (READ: Ex-senator Tatad files disqualification case vs Poe)
"Nakausap ako ni Grace Poe mismo, nagpasalamat at di ako nagdemanda sa kanila. They want me to be on their slate and I said baka p'wedeng adopt na lang because I am running under my own party, Bagumbayan," he earlier told Rappler.
(Grace Poe talked to me and thanked me for not filing a case against them. They want me to be on their slate and I said maybe I could just be adopted because I am running under my own party, Bagumbayan.)
'No smear campaign from LP, UNA'
In a statement, Marikina City 2nd District Representative Miro Quimbo, spokesperson of the LP-led coalition for the 2016 polls, said that the LP "has not and will not authorize any person from engaging in a smear campaign."
"Both the President and Former Secretary Mar Roxas have given the Liberal Party clear marching instructions on how the campaign should be waged. We have always campaigned on Daang Matuwid and that we are focused on issues and our platform, not on personalities," Quimbo said.
He added, "What we have learned from PNoy's experience is that a president can make decisions, however difficult and unpopular they may be, as long as you have a clear and unquestionable mandate. Winning through a smear campaign will make governance difficult. We don't want that."
UNA also denied having a hand in the disqualification cases against Poe.
UNA spokesman Mon Ilagan said the party's principal, opposition standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay, is also the subject of a demolition job.
"It is not the character of our party to use dirty tactics to lift our ratings, and to step on other people. Even if Senator Grace is an opponent in the elections, she must not be judged until cases are still pending in court," Ilagan said on Wednesday.
Despite UNA and LP's denial, Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, Poe's running mate, said it is "getting harder and harder" to give LP and UNA leaders the "benefit of the doubt," following Gordon's statements.
"If Mar believes that Grace is Filipino, he should explicitly tell LP members and supporters to stop making an issue of it. The same holds true for VP Binay, who also invited Grace to be his VP," Escudero said in a statement.
Escudero, in a swipe at both administration and opposition, said leaders who say one thing and do another have questionable character and capacity to lead the nation. – Rappler.com
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