Grace to Mar: Your camp is hitting me

Christina Mendez, Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - August 17, 2015 - 10:01am

• ‘I won’t give false hopes’

• Vi won’t team up with Mar

MANILA, Philippines - Saying some of her attackers were from the camp of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Sen. Grace Poe declared yesterday she did not want to give anyone false hopes that she would be his running mate in the 2016 elections.

While she thought Roxas meant well, Poe admitted that she was hurt by questions raised by some groups about her citizenship and residency.

Poe revealed she confronted Roxas, during their meeting last Sunday, about reports that his camp was behind such attacks. She maintained that her camp is ready to explain the issues raised against her.  

She said she would not be sweet-talked into accepting offers, as her conviction and stand on issues are her guides in making a decision.

Poe also said comparing her possible teamup with Roxas to a love team on a TV noontime show trivialized the issue.

“I don’t want to mislead or to give false hopes,” Poe told reporters when sought yesterday for comment on her latest meeting with Roxas, which reportedly lasted for five hours. 

She said her meeting with Roxas was frank and cordial, and she let him know “may mga tao kayo na tinitira ako (some of your people are hitting me)” whenever matters regarding her possible vice presidential run were being discussed.

“I know because I get reports coming from many places, including Power One,” she said.

Poe said she was still soul-searching and that it is up to Roxas and the ruling Liberal Party (LP) if they are willing to wait.

She said she was grateful to Roxas and the LP for considering her as their candidate for vice president. 

“I am thankful that their doors remain open but I am not encouraging that they wait for me if this will be against their plans or their feelings,” she added.

Poe said she is ready for any eventuality in case she decides to run for higher office next year.

She also said that if there is one thing she and Roxas have agreed to work on, it is their shared sentiment to serve the Filipino people better.

No love team

Poe also said her being goaded into accepting Roxas’ proposition should not be likened to the “AlDub kalyesere” featured in the noontime television show Eat Bulaga.

She was reacting to Roxas’ jestingly comparing their possible tandem to that of actor Alden Richards and YouTube sensation Maine Mendoza, better known as “AlDub.”

“This is no love team. This is about helping the country and I don’t want to trivialize this issue. While I’m saying that whatever decision I make is personal, it’s a decision that can affect many of our countrymen,” she said in Filipino.

Poe also stressed she did not flatly reject Roxas’ offer. “What I said generally was, no matter how sweet an offer is, it’s the heart that ultimately decides what’s best,” she said.

Even some senators made reference to AlDub in their media interviews yesterday regarding Poe.

Acting Senate minority leader Vicente Sotto III expressed elation that the popular TV segment has caught the interest of some of his colleagues.

Sotto is part of the trio of Tito, Vic and Joey of Eat Bulaga.

Asked if she had already made up her mind on the vice presidency issue, Poe quoted the statements of Lola Nidora, the character of comedian Wally Bayola. “Sa tamang panahon (at the right time),” Poe said, referring to her reply to Roxas during their meeting.

“Alam mo, noong nagkaroon siya ng interview, hindi ba may mga nabanggit din siya na mga Yaya Dub na mga analogies hindi ba? So, yung tamang panahon lamang, dahil ayaw naman natin na mauwi tayo kay Frankie,” Poe added, referring to the role of comedian Jose Manolo, who as Frankie Arinoli is being pitted against Richards in the kalyeserye.

Poe confirmed that Roxas went to her house in Greenhills, San Juan and discussed their plans for the 2016 presidential elections over dinner last Sunday. Poe said Roxas personally asked her if she can be his vice president.

Sen. Francis Escudero, for his part, said he would respect whatever decision Poe makes.

But instead of Yaya Dub, Escudero took a line from Aiza Seguerra’s song, “Pagdating ng panahon.” 


Although Roxas admitted that the “talks” between him and Poe remain “fluid,” he said he was happy about how the meeting turned out.

“Well, sa akin masaya ako,” Roxas said. “It remains fluid, but what’s good about it is we have good intentions. So we have something to look forward to in these discussions,” he said.

Roxas said his meeting with Poe and her husband Niel Llamanzares lasted for a few hours and Escudero, the rumored vice president of Poe, was not part of it.

The DILG secretary said he has no idea about the reports that Poe was given until Sept. 14 to decide.

Poe, meanwhile, said she would understand if Roxas won’t wait very long for her decision.

The meeting between Roxas and Poe also came after President Aquino made public his sentiment last week that it would be up to Roxas to again try to convince Poe to be his running mate. She also stressed that while Escudero is a close friend, she doesn’t have to tell him her every move.

Ate Vi not interested

In Batangas, Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto reiterated she is not interested in running for vice president and that she has not received any formal offer to be Roxas’ running mate.

“No formal talks. Nababasa ko lang yan at napapanood (I just read about it). But no plans for that position, no ambition and not interested.  I thank all those who are considering me, if there are any.  But no formal talks,” she said in a text message. 

She said she is more inclined to run again for mayor or for congresswoman to represent the newly approved lone district of Lipa City.

Recto was Lipa mayor for nine years before becoming governor of the province.

“May consider Congress but nothing final yet.  I like serving the people of Batangas… 18 years din akong pinagkatiwalaan (they trusted me for 18 years)! Salamat!” she added.

On rumors that her son Luis Manzano was eyeing the mayoralty post, Recto said she thinks he is still not yet ready for such responsibility.

“It’s his decision, but I won’t let him get into something he’s not prepared for,” she said in Filipino.

With Poe seen close to reaching a decision on a possible bid for the presidency, she is reportedly getting advice from all the power players in Philippine politics, including former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Poe confirmed that she met with Estrada over dinner recently and that they discussed several issues, including her plans for 2016.

According to Poe, she has not been able to meet Estrada lately because of their busy schedules and she wanted to see him as a friend of her father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., and also as her godfather.

“We get together. Recently we don’t get together as often. But of course the reports are coming out asking if I will run or not. We had a friendly chat. Of course, he was a friend of my dad and he is my godfather,” Poe said.

Poe said that she was given a piece of advice by Estrada during that meeting, but declined to disclose this.

In his previous interviews, Estrada said that he was torn between supporting Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay because of his links to both.

Binay is Estrada’s political ally and fellow head of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), which was created for the 2013 senatorial elections.

Poe, on the other hand, has known Estrada since she was a child because her father and the former president were close friends, both being from show business.

Estrada’s seeming reluctance to support the Vice President was further highlighted when he did not attend the launch of UNA as a political party last July 1.

His son, Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, has also publicly aired his support for Poe as a presidential candidate.

Over the past few months, Poe has met with President Aquino and another former president, Fidel Ramos. – Cecille Suerte Felipe, Arnell Ozaeta

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