DUMAGUETE CITY—Team PNoy candidate Grace Poe is leaving it up to the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) to decide if it is dropping her from its roster of adopted candidates.
Speaking to reporters, Poe said that when she was adopted by UNA as a candidate, it did not impose on her as a condition to attend its campaign sorties and expressed surprise that some in the UNA camp had aired on media their intention to drop her and other common candidates from its slate.
She cited the examples of Senators Miriam Santiago and Ramon 'Bong' Revilla who were adopted as candidates by several parties in the previous election but were not expected to attend the sorties of their adoptive parties.
“Noong ako’y inimbita ng UNA na sumama sa kanila, noong ako’y inadopt nila, hindi ko naman hiningi yun e. Bolunatryo nila yun binigay sa akin, lalong-lalo ng aking ninong na si President Erap. Sabi niya, ‘Tinulungan ako ng tatay mo noong ako’y tumatakbong mayor kahit dehado ako, noong tumakbong senador, noong tumakbong vice president, noong tumakbong president, kaya tutulungan kita kahit anong partido ka pa,’” she said.
“Wala pong kondisyon na dapat sumama kayo sa sortie namin. Walang kondisyon na ganoon. Ang sinabi lang ni Senator Jinggoy, ‘Sana sa bandang huli makasama ka sa aming miting de avance.’ Sabi ko, bilang Pilipino naman, syempre gusto ko namang magpasalamat lalong lalo na kung tinulungan ninyo ako.”
“Nagulat na lang ako na biglang sa media na dinadaan ang mga reklamo, hindi ng ninong ko, kundi ng ibang mga kandidato sa kanilang hanay.”
She said that her godfather, former President and UNA stalwart Joseph Estrada, had promised to support her candidacy regardless of which party she is in.
“Hindi naman ako expected na pumunta sa sortie nila kung bukal sa loob nila. Pero it’s their prerogative. Kung ipit na talaga ang aking ninong at wala na siyang magagawa sapagakat nagarereklamo na ang ibang kandidato, kahit tintingala ko siya na parang tatay ko na, pwede naman niya akong suportahan personally. Hindi na naman kailangan through a party,” Poe said.
“NO COMMON CANDIDATE”
Administration campaign manager Franklin Drilon refused to describe Poe, Senators Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero as “common candidates,” saying that they are “administration candidates” who had been adopted by UNA.
“Let me make it clear, there are no common candidates. There are three administration candidates adopted by UNA,” Drilon told reporters.
He said that it would be “awkward” for the three to attend UNA’s sorties.
“Sila Grace, Chiz at saka si Loren ineendorso po ng buong slate na kasama ng Pangulo. At siguro medyo awkward din na tatayo sila doon at ibang plataporma naman—hindi nga namin alam kung [may] plataporma ang kabila—pero dito po may tinatayuang plataporma at iyan po ay programa ng Pangulong Noy,” he said.
He asked the media to move on from the issue over the common candidates.
“We should move forward. I think too much time have been devoted on this very personalized issue. Maybe let’s move on to issues—-where the President stands, what he has done for the people for the last two years and a half, and whether or not on the basis of his performance his team deserves the support of our people,” he said.
PRESIDENT CANCELS TRIP
President Aquino did not push through with his trip to Dumaguete City due to bad weather.
He was supposed to inaugurate the second site of BPO company Qualfon here in the morning and join an event with political allies and the administration’s senatorial candidates in the afternoon. Drilon represented him instead.
Of Team PNoy’s senatorial candidates, only Poe, Jamby Madrigal, and Bam Aquino made it here.
Senator Koko Pimentel was represented by his sister Gwen Pimentel while Rep. Sonny Angara was represented by his wife Tootsy.