THE tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero had a taste of the Liberal Party’s (LP) clout on Thursday following the withdrawal of the invitation for them to be the guests of honor and speakers during the foundation day celebration of Tawi-Tawi province this coming Sunday.
Poe and Escudero were supposed to grace the event, which will be held at the Department of Education (DepEd) compound, in Bongao town, Tawi-Tawi on Sunday Morning.
According to a source, Poe and Escudero were invited by Governor Nurbet Sahali and Congresswoman Ruby Sahali several weeks ago. A formal letter was even sent to the Senators.
However, the senators were surprised after a staff of the Sahalis informed them that the invitation had been withdrawn.
“It is unfortunate that the invitation to attend the Foundation Day of Tawi-Tawi on Sunday was withdrawn for political reasons,” Poe and Escudero said in a statement sent to reporters.
“We know that the people of Tawi-Tawi have been preparing for our visit on the invitation of Governor Nurbert Sahali and Congresswoman Ruby Sahali – who both belong to the Liberal Party,” they added.
The two, on the other hand, said that they understand the situation of the Sahalis and believe that it is also difficult for them to withdraw the invitation.
Poe and Escudero have recently declared their intention to run for president and vice president respectively as independent candidates.
But Poe’s possible candidacy remains uncertain because of the pending disqualification case against her before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).
Meanwhile, Senator Sergio Osmeña 3rd expects Poe to get a favorable ruling from the SET since the composition of the tribunal might side with her.
“You cannot avoid that the SET is composed of six politicians and those six politicians have their beliefs, their interests and so you cannot discount that it might be a political decision (in the end),” Osmeña noted.
Supreme Court senior associate justice Antonio Carpio heads the SET, while associate justices Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Arturo Brion, sit as member along with six incumbent senators namely Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Vicente Sotto 3rd and Cynthia Villar.
Osmena however made it clear that even if the SET ruled in favor of Poe, petitioner Rizalito David can still elevate the case to the Supreme Court (SC).
Poe’s camp can also take the case to the SC, in the event the SET disqualified her.