(UPDATED) The speculations will soon be over.
Senator Grace Poe appears set to declare her presidential bid on Wednesday, September 16. The plan, so far, is to launch at the Bahay ng Alumni in the University of the Philippines in Diliman – unless anything dramatic happens. Before that, she was supposed to make her announcement at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, according to insiders.
Will she change her mind yet again given developments at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET)? It has scheduled a hearing on September 21, a Monday. The SET was reported to decide on Poe’s disqualification case no later than November 2015, according to Senator Tito Sotto, a member of the tribunal.
Poe is an avid believer of Feng Shui, a Chinese practice. A Rappler source close to the senator said Poe had the September 16 date checked by a Feng Shui master and eventually got a go signal. After all, the so-called ghost month should have ended by then.
Poe is reportedly planning a declaration without her friend and ally Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero. The presidential polls front-runner earlier said she is more comfortable running with Escudero. (READ: Is Chiz Escudero weighing down Grace Poe’s chances in 2016?)
President Benigno Aquino III earlier said the Liberal Party would wait for Poe’s decision until the deadline for filing of certificates of candidacy in October.
The ruling LP has invited Poe to be the running mate of administration standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
But the same source told Rappler the reason Poe has so far been cold to the idea is because the same people who discredited her father in 2004 – the late action star Fernando Poe Jr – are among Roxas’ supporters.
The source said many from what used to be known as “The Firm”, the law office believed to have backed the disqualification case against FPJ, have supported Roxas. The law firm has since split into two.
Possible senatorial candidates
Some of the senatorial candidates reportedly being eyed by Poe are:
- Senator Ralph Recto, who Poe said would be a good addition to a senatorial slate because of his expertise in budget and finance.
- Senator Tito Sotto, who is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and has repeatedly expressed support for the Poe-Escudero tandem.
- Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar, who joined Poe and Escudero in an event in Mindanao last August.
- Valenzuela Representative Sherwin Gatchalian, who was present in Poe’s last meeting with the NPC.
- Pasig Representative Roman Romulo, who was also present in Poe’s last meeting with the NPC and during Poe’s Nueva Ecija event and radio interviews.
- TESDA chairman Joel Villanueva, who, after saying he will not run under LP because of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, attended Poe’s second meeting with the NPC.
- Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, who had earlier expressed support for the neophyte senator amid citizenship and residency issues hurled at her. – Rappler.com