Grace Poe apologizes to Lacson for last minute exclusion
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Thursday, October 29, apologized to former senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson for his exclusion from the Poe-Escudero senatorial lineup.
Poe, who formally announced her senatorial lineup that day, downplayed the matter and urged the people not to make an issue out of the incident.
“Humihingi ako ng pasensiya at paumanhin sa kanya. Hindi po 'yun ang naging intensyon (I want to apologize to him. That was not my intention),” Poe told reporters after the event at Club Filipino.
Lacson, who is running under the administration banner, was initially part of the Poe slate as a guest candidate. The senator earlier told Rappler he met with Poe twice – first with Poe’s husband Neil Llamanzares in their Quezon City home, and the second time with Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, Poe's friend.
While the presidential aspirant said Lacson would be a great addition to their slate, she reiterated there are other candidates who needed their support more.
She was referring to Susan “Toots” Ople, a migrant workers’ advocate and a member of the Nacionalista Party, who was invited by Poe to run on their slate on Saturday, October 24, or a day after Poe informed Lacson of his fate. (READ: Toots Ople replaces Ping Lacson on Poe Senate slate?)
“Malakas na si Senator Lacson at karapat-dapat din [siyang tumakbo]. Isang karangalan na masama siya sa isang slate. Kaya lamang po merong ibang walang partido at bigyan din natin ng pagkakataon ang mga kababayan na makita sila,” Poe said.
(Senator Lacson is already a strong candidate and he deserves to run. It's a privilege to include him in a slate. But there are other candidates who do not have any party. They should be given a chance to be seen by our countrymen.)
Lacson is a guest candidate of both the ruling Liberal Party and the opposition United Nationalist Alliance. Lacson earlier said Poe told him he was being removed from the slate to accommodate actor and former Makati vice mayor Edu Manzano. Manzano, however, said he knew he was part of the slate "more than a month" ago.
Poe said in the interview that there was also a "problem" regarding Lacson's inclusion in her slate that cropped up later on.
"Sana huwag na nating palakihin pero totoo naman talaga na siya ay kasama na iniisip naming isama. Ang problema lang noong bandang huli, wala siyang masabing mechanics para sa aming pagkampanya," Poe said.
(I hope we do not blow this out of proportion but it's really true we really thought of including him in our slate. The only problem was, later on, he could not say any mechanics for our campaign.) – Rappler.com
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