Grace Poe on Mar's call: What's there to talk about?
Camille Diola (philstar.com) - May 6, 2016 - 5:46am

MANILA, Philippines — "Hindi ako aatras."

This is what independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe said following rival candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II's call on Friday to meet and talk.

Speaking to reporters in Los Baños, Laguna on Friday, Poe said if the meeting would be on the prospect of her withdrawing from the presidential race to keep Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte from winning, she has already decided.

"Pangungunahan ko na... kung iniisip nila ay pag-uusap sa 'pag atras, ako ay hindi aatras," Poe said, according to a transcript of the interview released by her camp.

 

Roxas, who announced his call "for unity" to Poe at the Liberal Party headquarters in Quezon City, said he and Poe, ranked second and third in latest pre-election surveys, respectively, should work together against dictatorship, purportedly referring to a Duterte administration.

"Uncertainty and the specter of a dictatorship are looming over our country again," Roxas said.

"Grace, mag-usap tayo. I will adjust schedules to your convenience. Sabihin mo lang kung saan at darating ako," he added.

MAIN STORY: Mar Roxas appeals to Grace Poe: Let's talk

Poe, however, said she has always been for unity and decency, but is not open to the idea of backing out.

"I always maintain decency, unity in terms of our goal para 'yung ating bansa maayos. Ano pa ba ang gusto niyang pag-usapan sa puntong ito? Pwede naman kaming mag-usap anytime," she said.

"Pwede naman kaming mag-usap, anytime. Uunahin ko na... kung iniisip nila ang pag-uusap para merong umatras isa sa amin, ako hindi ako aatras," she added.

Poe last year refused the Liberal Party's offer to run alongside Roxas as his vice president, but instead launched her presidential campaign enlisting Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero as her running mate.

Poe enjoyed front-runner status the past months in pre-election polls, until Duterte's numbers increased and eventually took the lead. Roxas, meanwhile, figured second in the last Pulse Asia surve as Poe fell to third in rank.

Campaign period ends tomorrow, Saturday.

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