SEN. Grace Poe on Wednesday admitted that Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd has already told her that he wants her to be his runningmate in the 2016 elections.
But the greenhorn lawmaker, who is closing in on Vice President Jejomar Binay in popularity surveys, said she remains undecided about her political plans.
Poe told reporters that she met Roxas by chance in a restaurant where the presumptive standard-bearer of the administration-backed Liberal Party purportedly floated the idea that they join hands in next year’s polls.
“For me, the intention of Secretary Roxas is clearer, he mentioned that it will be better if we join forces,” she said.
But while they both have similar objectives of pursuing the reform program of President Benigno Aquino 3rd and in fighting corruption, the senator pointed out that she believes there are still a lot of things that should be done to help improve the lives of Filipinos people and effectively address poverty.
Poe reiterated that she is still trying to determine the reason why she needs to gun for a higher position.
She was a common candidate of the LP and the United Nationalist Alliance in the 2013 elections but the opposition party later dropped her after she reportedly refused to join their sorties and stuck with the administration party. Poe would eventually top the senatorial race.
Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero also admitted having discussed the possibility of teaming up with Poe in the 2016 elections, but said there was no decision taken yet.
“This is what we have been discussing, maybe it is also due to the clamor for her to run for President next year,” Escudero, who served as the campaign spokesman of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr.–Poe’s father–when he ran for President in the 2004 elections, said.
Join the opposition
Deposed President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada also on Wednesday expressed his wish for Poe to “change her mind and join the opposition” instead.
The former leader said he is asking his goddaughter to backtrack from her pronouncement that she has no plans of becoming Vice President Jejomar Binay’s runningmate.
Estrada, a close friend of the senator’s late father, said there is “nothing permanent” in politics.
“Everything can change. May 2016 is still far. So, everything is fluid,” he noted.
When asked if there is still a possibility for him to run for President, Estrada replied, “Binay is still the presidential candidate of the opposition.”
“I am seeking reelection as mayor of Manila,” he said.
Grace or no Grace, run
At the House of Representatives, congressmen affiliated with the LP urged Roxas to pursue his bid for presidency even if Poe will not agree to be his runningmate.
Representatives Christopher Belmonte (Quezon City), Jerry Treñas (Iloilo City) and Sonny Collantes (Batangas) made the call in light of the President Aquino’s statement that Roxas remains on top of his list as his preferred successor.
“He [Roxas] should declare already so that the party can make a decision. While we are moving individually, it will be different if we make a move as a party. We have always wanted Secretary Roxas in so far as possible presidential candidates are concerned because he has the experience needed to be the Chief Executive and he won’t be there to enrich himself,” Treñas said.
“He [Roxas] should declare so that we can show you that surveys change,” Collantes said.