THE complaints filed at the Senate Electoral Tribunal against Senator Grace Poe only strengthened views that she is the strongest threat to other candidates in 2016, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero said on Sunday.
But instead of evading the issue and using “politics” as an excuse, Escudero said Poe met the challenge head on by appearing at the SET to personally answer all questions regarding her residency and citizenship.
According to Escudero, Poe showed that she is true, honest and up for the challenge, characteristics that Filipino people expect from a leader.
“We all know the charges are baseless and politically motivated. If there were doubts about Sen. Grace’s qualifications, then they should have been raised when she ran in 2013,” the senator said.
He was referring to the SET rules that questions on residency must be filed within 10 days after proclamation.
The SET last week dropped the issue involving Poe’s residency, leaving the issue on her citizenship, a requirement for candidates vying for the highest office of the land, hanging.
Escudero said he believes that questioning Poe’s residency and citizenship is the only way to take her out of the 2016 presidential race.
Poe has yet to announce her political plans in 2016, although many believe that she is bent on running for president.
Escudero said Poe deserved credit for answering her accusers instead of being evasive or non-responsive to the issues raised against her.
“Instead of hiding behind the default defense of ‘pulitika lang yan’ (it’s just politics), Sen. Grace has chosen to meet her accusers and the allegations head on, confident that the truth, the law, and the people are on her side,” he added.
Poe last week stressed that she went to the SET not because she is running but to defend her reputation after she was accused of lying on her status when she filed her certificate of candidacy in 2013.
Meanwhile, six municipalities in Zamboanga del Sur and Bataan declared Poe their “adopted daughter” for her efforts to eradicate malnutrition among Filipino children.
The municipalities of Dumingag, Tigbao, Bayog, Mahayag and Tukuran issued resolutions “declaring Sen. Mary Grace Sonora Poe Llamanzares as adopted daughter for her invaluable contribution for Senate Bill No. 79 concerning the fight against hunger and malnutrition among children.”
SB 79, or the Sustansiya sa Batang Pilipino Act, seeks to provide nutritious meals to children enrolled in public kindergarten and elementary schools across the country five days a week for 120 days a year, for the span of five years.
The program, which received a P3.2 billion funding this year, is expected to benefit two million malnourished and severely wasted children.
The municipality of Bagac in Bataan issued a similar resolution recognizing Poe’s efforts to “uplift the health of the people” in the country’s poorest regions.