Binay camp hits Poe: 'Finish your term first'

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 28 2015 11:52 AM | Updated as of May 28 2015 07:52 PM

MANILA -- Senator Grace Poe should finish her six-year term as senator first before running for a higher position, one of Vice President Jejomar Binay's spokespersons said on Thursday.

Lawyer JV Bautista, who is also the interim secretary-general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said Poe should respect the mandate given to her in the 2013 elections.

Poe has been closing in on the frontrunner Binay in pre-election surveys on presidential preferences, but she has not made a decision about 2016 yet.

''She has not even fully served her term,'' Bautista told reporters at a briefing. ''Perhaps she owes it to the people, or at the very least those who voted for her, to serve out her term.''

However, Binay himself wanted Poe to be his running mate in 2016. Poe has already rejected the idea.

Asked about Binay's desire for Poe to run with him, Bautista said the Vice President was considering a lot of people, not just Poe, as prospective partners because of the ''pragmatic dictates of politics.''

Bautista also said that if Poe decides to run, she might as well run with Binay and not under the Liberal Party, which has reportedly been courting her.

Bautista pointed out that some LP members came from Lakas, the ruling party during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Poe's father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., ran against Arroyo but lost in the 2004 polls, which was marred by allegations of widespread fraud.

''If Senator Poe runs with the LP, she would running with people who tormented and cheated her late father,'' said Bautista.

Bautista said the people who helped in FPJ’s campaign are now with the Vice President.

''Perhaps that's one of the reasons the Vice President felt that if Senator Grace Poe would run, the most natural people for her to go with would be those people who helped her father,'' he said.

''Who was the general campaign manager of FPJ? None other than Vice President Jojo Binay,'' Bautista added. ''Who fought for FPJ in the halls of Congress when he was being cheated by the Lakas majority at the time who turned Liberal?''