Grace, Chiz to present ‘Galing at Puso’ slate today

Marvin Sy - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The senatorial slate of the tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero – to be called Team GP (Galing at Puso) – will be presented today and include highly accomplished individuals in their respective fields representing a broad sector of society.

Former Cebu congressman Joseph Durano, campaign manager of Team GP, said Poe and Escudero would formally introduce the 12-member senatorial slate at the Club Filipino in San Juan City today.

In a telephone interview with reporters, Durano said that the names that have been coming out in news reports in the past days were generally accurate except for two persons, whom he said would be “surprise candidates.”

So far, the only sure candidates in the senatorial slate of Team GP are lawyer Lorna Kapunan, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares and Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno who were earlier endorsed personally by Poe and Escudero in separate events.

The other possible members of Team GP are Senators Vicente Sotto III, Ralph Recto, former senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Richard Gordon, Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, actor Edu Manzano, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Samuel Pagdilao.

Former senator Panfilo Lacson, who was reportedly part of the original lineup, said that he was asked to give way to Manzano.

Lacson, a guest candidate in the Liberal Party slate, said that he supports Manuel Roxas II as president.

Durano declined to confirm any of the names mentioned.

He said that there are two guest candidates or those who are also part of the senatorial slates of other presidential bets.

As for the two surprise candidates, he said that they are first-time candidates for the Senate.

“They are really accomplished and they really add to the presentation of Team GP,” Durano said.

Poe also assured supporters that she is ready to take to the Supreme Court the disqualification cases that challenge her eligibility to run for president.

Poe added she is not backing down on her presidential campaign despite the filing of four cases against her before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“In case the DNA results are not available on time, and the SET needs to decide, they could do it,” she said, adding that she thinks the citizenship issue will not be finished at the level of the SET. 

“There will still be cases that may be filed before the Supreme Court. As far as I am concerned, I am confident about this even only if we discuss the merits on foundling even without the DNA results,” Poe added in Filipino.

Based on the senator’s petition, the SET agreed to resolve by December the citizenship issue because Poe is still waiting for results of the DNA test from the United States.

At the same time, Poe revealed that she has asked her legal team to dig deeper into reports that there are bigger personalities and groups behind the filing of disqualification cases against her.

She suspects there are masterminds behind petitioners Rizalito David, a defeated senatorial candidate; lawyer Estrella Elamparo, former senator Francisco Tatad and university professor Antonio Contreras. – With Christina Mendez

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