Grace fires back: Resume lean but no excess baggage

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2015 12:13 AM

Senator Grace Poe

MANILA - Sen. Grace Poe admitted Tuesday that she has the "leanest" résumé among the current crop of presidential candidates, but she more than makes up for it by quality of service.

Poe, who is leading in the pre-election surveys of presidential candidates, admitted that she has the least job experience in government compared to the other major candidates.

"Alam mo, para sa akin kasi ang lean hindi naman masama. Totoo ako ang may pinakamaikling panahon sa gobyerno. Pero sabi ko nga, ang mga excess baggage ang mas mahirap. Mas okay na yung lean basta malaman at mayroon namang kalidad ng serbisyo. Yun lang naman ang importante but I concede that compared to the others, ako talaga yung pinakamaikli na nandiyan," she told reporters.

Poe also said a different perspective could be the key to solving many of society's ills.

"Marami na ring mga sumubok na malutas ang mga problema na iyan. Siguro naman ay napapanahon na rin na ang isang may maganda at tapat at maayos na pananaw at - ay magbigay naman ng solusyon para sa ating mga kababayan," she said.

Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson for the campaign of Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, was the first to point out Poe's lean "job credentials." He said Poe has not even completed her six-year term as a senator, which came after her stint as chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

"That’s insofar as (her) experience goes,” he said.

Poe’s spokesperson, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, did not dispute Gutierrez’s observation, but said: “Sometimes, it takes an outsider to fix what’s wrong or broken with the system.”

READ: The Curious Case of Grace Poe

Mar Roxas: Good luck to Grace Poe

Poe is running against the likes of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and Roxas, a former legislator from both chambers of Congress and a Cabinet member under three presidents.

Gutierrez claimed Roxas would be the “winner by far” among the presidential aspirants, based on sheer track record.

But Binay’s and Santiago’s camps would probably beg to disagree.

Binay is a lawyer with extensive experience in local government as mayor of Makati City.

Santiago is a former regional trial court judge, a former agrarian reform secretary, and once headed the Bureau of Immigration.

In 2011, she was elected as a judge of the International Criminal Court, but later begged off for health reasons.

WHY GRACE DROPPED LACSON

During the interview, Poe also confirmed that she dropped Lacson from the list of senatorial candidates that she and running mate Sen. Francis Escudero will support next year.

Lacson earlier said Poe called him up about dropping out of her Senate ticket to accommodate the senatorial bid of Edu Manzano. He also said that he will be supporting the candidacy of Roxas.

Poe said Lacson was originally one of the candidates she was considering for their Senate ticket. This changed after Lacson filed his certificate of candidacy and was adopted as guest candidate of both the Liberal Party and the United Nationalist Alliance.

"Noong una kaming nag-usap, isa talaga siya sa itinuring na iniimbitahan namin na sumama sa slate. Kaya lamang po, noong nag-file na, nakita namin na isang administration party, dinadala na siya. Tapos ang isang malakas din na opposition party katulad ng UNA, dala rin siya," she said.

"Ngayon, marami rin namang mga iba na walang suporta na pwede na naman nating bigyan ng pagkakataon. Noong ako kasi ay tumakbo noon, malayo rin naman ako sa survey pero nabigyan naman ng pagkakataon ng administrasyon. Eh ito? Hindi naman siya magkukulang din at saka noong nag-usap kasi kami sinabi ni Senator Ping na hindi pa niya alam ang mechanics ng pagsama niya sa amin sa kampanya. Eh may mga ibang tao naman na willing at mayroon naman silang adbokasiya rin na mga magandang isulong."

Poe said she wants to ask candidates in her senatorial slate if they will support her tandem with Escudero, but added that what is important is that they have the same advocacies.

She also said she understands why the mother of Heart Evangelista is supporting Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago's candidacy. Heart is the wife of Chiz Escudero, Poe's running mate.

"Well, I understand her sentiments. I only met her, maybe a month ago, samantalang 'yun ay matagal na niyang kilala. Sabi nga niya, mentor niya si Sen. Miriam. Alam naman natin na talagang kwalipikado talaga si Sen. Miriam. Nasa atin naman talaga yung pagpili kung sino ang nararapat," she said.

WATCH: Ina ni Heart Evangelista, si Miriam ang pangulo

'THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST'

Poe was one of four presidential candidates invited to the 41st Philippine Business Conference and Expo on Tuesday.

The independent candidate arrived late to the event due to a previous engagement but was able to present her snapshot vision and platform for business beyond 2016 in front an estimated one thousand businessmen.

In her speech, the senator said that her priority during her first 100 days is to recruit the best and brightest to join her Cabinet no matter his or her political leanings.

She said she will also pass the freedom of information bill and pass a law to reduce red tape in government to ease doing business in the country.

She also said that given a chance, agriculture would be given top priority by supporting farmers, building more dams and farm-to- market roads.

Poe also made a pitch to re-classify the different brackets for taxes, saying the Philippines has one of the highest income tax rates in Asia.

"From 2011 until the present, we have about 600 billion in unspent fund in the government and reducing taxes will only take away about 30 billion, so when they say what programs we have to cut, we don't even have to cut programs we just have to be more efficient in being able to roll out our projects so that more opportunities will be created," she said.