Awkward: Poe on split-screen video with Roxas, Binay

by Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2015 11:11 PM | Updated as of Jul 28 2015 12:28 PM

She was shown on screen alongside Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay--two possible contenders for the presidency in 2016--at one point during President Aquino's final State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Senator Grace Poe said that made her feel uncomfortable, especially as the President was talking about the elections when their faces were flashed.

"I felt very awkward. I wasn't expecting it," she told reporters.

"Mismong Pangulo ay wala namang binabanggit na maski na sino (Even the President did not mention anyone)."

Poe is a leading contender for the presidency in 2016 according to voter preference surveys. She has yet to decide whether to run or not.

The administration is reportedly wooing her to be the running mate of Roxas, who is the Liberal Party's presumptive presidential candidate. She has always seemed cool to the idea, however, saying she would be more comfortable running with her close friend Senator Francis Escudero if she decides to seek higher office.

President Aquino has met with Poe five times to discuss the polls but there appeared to be no agreement between them.

Some of her Senate colleagues, including her 2013 campaign strategist Senator Sergio Osmeña III, believe she would run for President as an independent.

Poe refused to answer questions about 2016 on Monday. "This is not a political event," she said before the SONA.

An administration ally, Poe said she had hoped to hear President Aquino push for the the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, a popular measure she steered to passage at the Senate.

The President, however, made no mention of it in his more than two-hour speech.

"Hinihintay ko sana na mabanggit ng pangulo ang Freedom of Information (I was waiting for the President to mention Freedom of Information)," said Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on information and mass media.

"'Yong mga pagbabago at reporma laban sa korupsyon na naumpisahan na niya ay mas mapapangalagaan natin kung mayro'n tayong Freedom of Information dahil magkakaroon ng armas ang ating mga kababayan na mabusisi ang ginagawa ng gobyerno (We would be able to safeguard the changes and anti-corruption reforms he has started if we have Freedom of Information, because people would have the means to scrutinize government)."

Althought the FOI bill has been passed on final reading at the Senate, its counterpart measure at the House of Representatives remains pending.

Poe was also not satisfied by President Aquino's statement on the MRT's woes, which cleared the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) of responsibility.

"Sa tingin ko may pagkukulang talaga ang DOTC dito (I believe the DOTC really has shortcomings here)," she said. "Hindi ko sinasabing problema ito ng pangulo o kasalanan niya. Sa tingin ko dapat ang mga natalaga niya ay dapat akuin ang responsabilidad ng mga pagkukulang nila (I'm not saying this is the President's problem or fault. I think those he appointed should take responsibility for their shortcomings)."

Poe held several hearings on the glitches that have been hounding the MRT and criticized officials for supposedly not doing enough to address them.

She also caught public attention when she once rode the train to see for herself the plight of commuters.