Senator Grace Poe. File Photo
Grace Poe talks about life so far in the Senate
MANILA – First-time senator Grace Poe admitted that while work as a lawmaker has been manageable so far, other aspects of it are not as easy as she initially thought.
Poe told Bianca Gonzales for the television host's column at the Philippine Star that the personal and emotional side of being a senator is particularly hard, especially with recent controversies involving people she knows.
"Adjusting to the work alone, for me, I can handle it. I have very good people working with me and this is what I want to do. When it comes to the personal, emotional side of it, it’s not as easy because of the issues that have come up. You have some people involved that you know personally," Poe told Gonzales for her column on Sunday.
"But then it's never an issue of being torn about what we need to do. We know what we have to do. And that's really to be true to our mandate. So whatever the truth is, whatever is just, that’s where we need to side," Poe continued.
"Five months feel like 10 years!"
Poe eventually made friends among her co-senators but she admitted being closest to Serge Osmeña and Chiz Escudero.
However, Poe also said there were some "very pleasant surprises" along the way, especially when Senators Bam Aquino and Koko Pimentel, expressed support for the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill.
She also admitted being intimidated by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago who she likened to a professor.
"It almost feels like you are learning from a professor! I have not had the opportunity (to work with her closely), but I’m hoping that I won't be on her bad side," she said.
Meanwhile, Poe believes that to eliminate corruption, people in government should be justly compensated.
"I don’t know how to say it but they have to be compensated to make what they do worthwhile. Another is we should start convicting people who are involved in graft or plunder," the lawmaker said.
She also welcomed the scrapping of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF because it gives her and other new senators the confidence to face the public.
"At least now we can face our constituents with all confidence to say, 'We are somebody you can trust,'" she added.
Shrugging talks about the upcoming 2016 Presidential Elections, Poe noted that there are people who are capable of running for higher office. But at the same time, she emphasized that only a few are really good.