Let her (Grace Poe) run


These days, in case you have not noticed yet, Senator Grace Poe is sounding more and more like President Aquino. Every other minute, she invokes the most dreaded and the phoniest of all words in our political context – integrity. And she has adopted the stern, dour-like personality of the incumbent. I often ask this question. What in the world make politicians with higher ambitions look and sound like Kremlin apparatchiks?

And like Mr. Aquino, she talks as if her mission in life were to purge every real and imagined corruption in Philippine politics. Can’t a leader just say he or she will do what Isaiah says, which is feed the hungry and give shelter to the homeless? And make the country a better place for the less fortunate? Leaders, if Ms. Poe does not know it yet, can find more purity with such basic but amazingly noble quests.

The freshman senator many used to admire – leery of the limelight, mindful of her serious Senate work and deferential to her senate elders – seems to be like another creature nowadays. Was she transformed by power? And the adulation that comes her way from the slavish pundits?

Regardless of the transformation in Ms. Poe, we should all defend her right to run for president should she decide so. The so-called “ legal grounds” that have been raised to bar her from seeking the presidency are just as imaginary as the LP’s dream that one of its home-grown talents can win the presidency. They are dubious grounds, at the very least, and should be viewed as useless thoughts that are hosted in the ever-fertile minds of Mr. Tiancgo and Mr. Bautista. (Who, naturally, have to have fertile minds and fresh spins so they can earn their keeps.)

The lack of a ten-year residency has been clarified by election lawyers and the former head of the Commission on Elections. It does not depend on a single filing, rather on the actual date she settled for good in the country.

And travel records are easy to check nowadays, what with the full digitization of movement between the US and the Philippines. Ms. Poe’s claim that she returned home for good in 2005 can be vetted via a simple computer check. If she indeed returned to the Philippines in 2005 as she claimed she did, then all allegations of failing to meet the residency requirement will collapse in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Even if she erred on her senate filing, no court of law would disqualify her for running for president if she indeed returned home for good in 2005.

More ridiculous is the statement that she is a “ foundling” and, therefore, “ stateless.” Barring her from a presidential run on this wacko reasoning will be enough to fill a thousand episodes on Comedy Central – with the whiplash on the proponents of that comic allegation.

“Foundling” has never been part of election jurisprudence and it will never be. And Ms. Poe is better at Tagalog, than, say, Lito Lapid. No faux English accent for her despite her long years in the US.

The genesis of Ms. Poe’s decision to return home, then the follow-through decision to stay in the country for good, was not an arbitrary, whimsical move. Or, a return done to take advantage of better opportunities here. Or, to start a new business, or to take on a lucrative consulting gig. It was done for the most valid of reasons – to bury a dead father.

Whether politics was on her plans when she returned, we do not know. But we have to admit that it was a family tragedy that led to Ms. Poe’s return.

With a Philippine Constitution that nurtures a multi-party system, it goes without saying that this encourages a broad pool of candidates, not the constrained two-party system of the pre-martial law elections which essentially treated third parties as spoilers. A multiple field, with as many advocacies and platforms, is the political scenario envisioned by the framers of the constitution. The more candidates, the better. A Candidate Poe, preferably running outside of the UNA or the LP, is what the constitution encourages.

For Juan’s sake, let us stop all these noise about her legal incapacity to run. And let her run if she wishes so.

Ms. Poe should now respond to the current political context and decide on who she wants to be – a Hillary Clinton or an Elizabeth Warren. If she wants to run, she, like Hillary, should be straightforward about it. If she does not, she should say so. And like Warren, she would place an exclamation point at the end of the No, just to make an emphatic point.

But she cannot play coy. Politics, as history shows, is not for the “teka-teka” types.

Ms. Poe, should she decide to run for higher office, should not be tempted by the sweet enticements for her to run for VP. Hands down, she would win. All the polls say she would be unbeatable as a VP candidate. But that is a lonely, useless post, described as a “spare tire” or as a “ pitcher of warm spit.”

She should go for the jugular.



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  1. Residency requirements are there to be followed if a candidate cannot tell the truth categorically then that candidate is no different from a crooked politician !

  2. She is not yet qualified to run period.

    By the time she qualifies she would be a bit wiser? Or not but until then we are all wasting our time and energy on this.

  3. Juan Dela Cruz on

    I disagree that Sen. Grace Poe has changed and is now like President Aquino. Grace Poe is very very different from PNoy.

    Grace Poe is INDEPENDENT since the very beginning of her political career up until now. She is not beholden to anyone. Her Committee Report stated that PNoy was ULTIMATELY LIABLE for the Mamasapano incident. She also signed the Blue Ribbon report recommending plunder charges be filed against VP Binay. She also questioned Butch Abad during the hearings on the DAP. Grace Poe is not like PNoy who up until now cannot let go of his dear friend Purisima. Grace Poe values “TUNGKULIN” and her MANDATE more than friendship!

    Grace Poe is not like PNoy. You want her to feed the hungry? Check out her Senate Bill No. 79 aiming to provide free meal to the hungry schoolchildren! You want her to make the country a better place for the less fortunate? Check out her Senate Bills and Resolutions pushing for programs for the unemployed, for the credit grants to farmers, fisherfolks, etc. You can go to senate.gov.ph and check Grace Poe out yourselves. My God! Senator Grace Poe is not like PNoy.

    The author is right – the residency and citizenship garbage issues thrown against Senator Grace Poe are baseless and useless and could be easily dismissed even in court. Heck, I myself can go to court now against all the lawyers of VP Binay and have oral argument versus them and I am sure I can easily beat them no sweat!

  4. Mr. Ronquillo, is it OK to ignore those “requirements” set by the COMELEC for the candidates?

  5. Venerando Desales on

    Grace Poe should run for President! If I may suggest, she should be the standard bearer of the National Transformation Council. I like Mar Roxas, too, if he should vault out the Liberal Party. Never mind the endorsement, just remember Doy Laurel.

  6. Solicitor General on

    Bakit lahat nalang ng laman ng media ngayon as well as yung mga comments section ay about the constitutional requirements for running? We can’t interpret it, so might as well wait for the decision of the court.

    Right now, what we should think about is among the presidential candidates who have expressed their interest to run, who will we vote? Remember that for every candidates positive side, there is always a negative one.

    Binay is undeniably corrupt. Marcos blatantly lied about his educational achievements. But we are looking past this to discuss about Grace Poe’s foundling issue? WTF

    • How come you are willing to wait on the qualification of Poe to be questioned in Court but could condemn Binay to be “undeniably corrupt” when complaints against him have not even reach the court nor been properly investigated.

  7. jason bourne on

    Ay naku. any Tom, Dick Harry pala pwede na maging Presidente. No need if to chck if the person stillhold his or her Amrcan, Canadian or walawaian passport.

    This is the implication of this article.

    There is No Dignity in the office anymore.

  8. Tiangco just opened a can of worms when he questioned Poe’s qualifications.What she did in her COC 2013 was a stupid or blatant assertion that. she has all the impunity given the fact that she is not alone possessing US passport and at the same a sitting senator. How could she lied her citizenship in the COC when she declared that she renounced her US citizenship and the next thing she did renewed her US passport. She New that some senators, congressmen, and even public officials holding sensitive position are holding this precious passport. This worms now are swarming in the halls of the Senate and if 1314th placer senator Gordon will file quo warranto to question Poe’s qualification, then this pretender will bring down the Congress to the highest hypocrisy ever exist about taking the oath to obey the Constitution is all farce.

  9. mr ronquillo, have you not read or heard about the expose of the daily tribune that little ms poe-pet (puppet of boy sisi) last used her u.s.a. passport last 2010??? if correct, then she is a u.s.a. citizen last 2010.

  10. Johnny Ramos on

    At this point the chances of Grace Poe to win as president or vice is nil. The issue of taking an oath as American citizen in front of an American flag will haunt her down until her term as senator of this country. She was first ever American citizen to become a senator whether she have renounced her citizenship of America is no longer in question but why did she renounce her Filipino citizenship to be an American.

  11. This columnist may be wrong in concluding that the question on poe’s citizenship and residency will have no bearing insofar as her run to the presidency is concerned. Since the dominant LP will not adopt her on the condition she will accept the vice presidency proposal in tandem with its top presidential bet SOB mar roxas, then she will be forced to form and organize her own new political party like what FVR did. And forming and organizing a new political party cost huge amount of money which she does not have. The only way to generate a war chest for presidential run is through political donation and contribution. With the legal question on her qualification looming on the horizon, political contributors will have second thoughts supporting her….and that is her big problem.

  12. Will she meet the constitutional requirements to run as either President or VP? This is the issue here. She has to counter all the opposing statements first hand along with documentary evidence to substantiate.

  13. Grace Poe has shown herself to be less than honest.

    And with all the meetings with pnoy aquino she is also compromising any claim to be independent.

    But fundamentally, she is simply not good enough. Her life is hardly bursting with accomplishments or achievements – just getting an easy job by virtue of her ‘father’, who no doubt will figure prominently in any campaign. In death there is opportunity, and grace poe, like leni robredo, certainly exploits it.

    However, should she come clean about her residency then let the people decide – just drop the FJP hook, and foundling story, and talk policies and plans, and especially if she will throw pnoy aquino et al in jail.

  14. Marlen let me get this right. You want a politician to just say things like, if im elected i will “feed the hungry and give shelter to the homeless? And make the country a better place for the less fortunate?”. Wow now that would reassure me. Dont they all already say things like that. Most before wernt to bothered about all the corruption, some of it is what you think perceived,. Isnt it probably 90% + of politicians are corrupt, probably closer to 100% of top business people are corrupt & thats because without that corruption they wont have a big business.
    Get rid of corruption & you have the money to sart helping the poor, the hungry & the needy.
    The problems facing this country are so many its hard to decide where to start, but start is what needs to be done. There are arguements for many different starting points so 100% of people wont be behind you on any of the startying points.
    Pnoy isnt the best in the world we know that but he has made a start & i for one ( & im a foreigner ) am glad he has made a start but i hope all successive governments keep it going & add to it.

  15. Presidential aspirants promote themselves either as a crusader who will go after the corrupt or present themselves as a good friend of the common man. In the first mold would be grace Poe who will continue the daang matuwid tack of pnoy and will go after the corrupt like binay and his ilk and ping lacson who will eliminate cotong cops etc. In the second mold are binay and cayatano who present themselves as God’s gift to their constituencies. Other than the tired motherhood cliches of “upliftment of the masses” no one, past or present, of the aspirants has a definite agenda for improving our lives. Duterte submits a “federalism” agenda but I don’t think he really means or understands what he is promoting much less the simple man on the street. Mar has nothing to promote himself with other than pnoys endorsement which is getting to be more and more worthless as election nears except that despite everything the hocus pcos might just be the trick up mars sleeve. I have lost my desire to vote under the current circumstances.

  16. some candidates claim that they are qualified or honest and do not know anything about graft and corruption, but do not say if they are also competent and can handle the tough job of being a president. if he/she becomes president, is he/she willing to work and stay in Malacanang even after office hour, or until midnight just to finish some work? we’re not talking of working until evening in just one or two days, but almost every day.