Grace, Chiz draw crowd; Senate lineup known today
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Amid questions over her citizenship, Sen. Grace Poe submitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday an affidavit affirming the renunciation of her American citizenship as she filed her certificate of candidacy (COC).

The Comelec has required candidates who have had foreign citizenship to submit a copy of their sworn renunciation of it. The senator took her oath as a Filipino in July 2006 after renouncing her American citizenship.

Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, filed their COCs at the Comelec office at 3 p.m. Her mother, actress Susan Roces, accompanied her while Escudero was with his wife, actress Heart Evangelista.

Poe and Escudero filed their COCs as independent candidates.

Poe’s group drew a bigger crowd compared to administration candidates Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, who filed their COCs several hours earlier. Among those who accompanied Poe and Escudero were the supporters of her late father, Fernando Poe Jr., such as the Filipinos for Peace Justice and Program Movement.

Poe said they would field a complete Senate slate, but refused to give details. She said they want to give their candidates a free hand to make the announcement today.  

Aksyon Demokratiko

Lawyer Lorna Kapunan said Aksyon Demokratiko, the political party founded by the late senator Raul Roco, would support the Poe-Escudero tandem.

“We will align with Grace and Chiz and the coalition will be announced eventually. Our agenda of HOPE is for H – honest government, O is for opportunity, no selective treatment; P is for peace and prosperity and E for education, and environment for sustainable development,” she said.

Kapunan filed her certificate of candidacy for senator under Aksyon yesterday. She said Aksyon is fielding a complete senatorial ticket.


Poe and Escudero, who have topped recent surveys, vowed to stay focused on their campaign.

“Even if you are the frontrunner, you always have to work as if you are the last,” said Poe.

“It doesn’t matter who enters the race. We wish them all well, but we… focus on our own… messaging, and how we can really help the people,” she told ANC News.

She welcomed the entry of more presidential candidates, including Sen. Miriam Santiago, saying more candidates would give the voters more choices.

 Not copying

Poe and Escudero shrugged off criticisms they are echoing the platform of the LP in their campaign. 

“We want to pursue the gains right now… work on what is lacking under the present government and uplift the lives of our people,” Escudero said. 

On the disqualification case she is facing, Poe said she is ready for it.

She said she is confident with the response she filed, but indicated her respect for the law. 

“Whoever is behind this, Senator Grace is ready to face these challenges. And I think she can surpass the challenges being thrown against her by the Liberal Party or whoever else,” Escudero added.


 Defending herself from criticisms over her statement that she would continue what her father started, Poe said she merely wants to emulate his compassion, humility and commitment to help the people.

“(These) should be placed at the forefront of public service,” she said.

Poe said they are ready to present their platform of government anchored on poverty alleviation and genuine inclusive growth. 

“Even when we were still contemplating running as president and vice president, our purpose was clear. Ours will be a deliberate leadership that will not be distracted by petty politics,” Poe said in a statement. 

Poe said the filing of their COCs would be the start of a process “geared toward realizing the real purpose of leading the country to effectively face the challenges of the future.” 

Escudero said their partnership was not an “agreement that just came out of the blue.”   – With Christina Mendez, Evelyn Macairan, Sheila Crisostomo



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