A statement announcing the alleged withdrawal of Sen. Grace Poe from next year’s presidential race was quickly quashed by her spokesman who said the e-mail message that circulated on Tuesday was fake.
“There is absolutely no truth in the bogus email being circulated that Sen. Poe has withdrawn from the presidential race. Sen. Poe remains steadfast in her bid to seek the presidency so that she can further her platforms of good governance, inclusive growth and improving the competitiveness of our country. As mentioned before, clearly some of her opponents will resort to all types of left-handed approaches to derail her candidacy. Some of her opponents are becoming so desperate that they are already resorting to all types of smear campaign tactics like this,” a statement attributed to Poe’s spokesman, Valenzuela City (Metro Manila) Mayor Rex Gatchalian, read.
A transcript of the senator’s interview at the Senate quoted her as saying, “Wala pong katotohanan yan. Sa katotohanan nga po, patuloy ang aming pagtatrabaho para maihatid ang mensahe sa kung anong magagawa natin para makatulong sa ating mga kababayan [There’s no truth to that. The truth is, we continue to work to deliver the message about what we can do to help our countrymen].”
Poe said she has no plans of having the incident investigated.
“There are many other things that need attention than this. I don’t think I’ll waste my time trying to trace where this came from. What’s more important is that the people would know that this is not true,” she said in Filipino.
The bogus e-mail message was sent to reporters covering the Senate. The sender used the e-mail account email@example.com.
Statements and advisories from Poe’s camp are usually sent out using a Gmail account.
The email read: “Bagamat inaasahan ko ang ganitong mga pag-atake at paninira na gagawin sa aking pagkatao, matagal kong pinag-isipan kung nararapat pa bang ipaglaban ang minsang naudlot na pinangarap ng aking namayapang amang si Fernando Poe Jr. [I had expected this smear drive against my person, and I asked myself if it is right to continue the fight of my late father Fernando Poe Jr.]
“Tao lang ako at nasasaktan; at pati na ang aking pamilya ay nadamay dahil sa ginawa kong desisyon na lumahok sa eleksiyon. At sa harap ng puntod ng aking ama, pinanalangin kong bigyan ako ng lakas ng loob na makapagdesisyon ng tama [I am only human and I get hurt; even my family is affected because of my decision to take part in the 2016 elections. And before my father’s grave, I prayed that I be given the strength to make the right decisions].
“Sa lahat ng nagmamahal sa akin, nais ko pong ipabatid sa inyo na hindi na po ako tatakbo sa pagkapangulo sa halalang darating. Masakit sa akin ang desisyong ito ngunit kailangan kong gawin ito para na rin sa aking pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay [To all who support me, I want to tell you that I am no longer running for President in the coming elections.
This decision was hard to make but I had to do it for my family and loved ones].”
The senator’s father, the popular FPJ, ran against Gloria Arroyo in 2004, but lost, allegedly a victim of cheating by the Arroyo administration
Disqualification cases have been filed against Poe by radio commentator Rizalito David, former senator Francisco Tatad and at least two others with the Commission on Elections.
The Senate Electoral Tribunal is also hearing a similar complaint filed by David.
All the complainants questioned Poe’s qualification to run for President, particularly her citizenship and residency.
Gatchalian said the bogus e-mail was just part of a black propaganda against Poe, who is leading both pre-election surveys for President and Vice President.
“As mentioned before, clearly some of her opponents will resort to all types of left-handed approaches to derail her candidacy. Some of her opponents are becoming so desperate that they are already resorting to all types of smear campaign tactics like this,” he added.
“These sinister minds have begun using all types of mediums to spread lies and confusion.
They started with baseless barrage of disqualification petitions to condition the minds of the people, then blast text messages spreading lies, and now bogus emails,” Gatchalian said.
‘Person to beat’
Sen. Grace Poe is the “person to beat” based on surveys but it is still too early to tell who is the biggest threat to Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid spokesman Ibarra Gutierrez 3rd said also on Tuesday.
The coalition spokesman said they are focused on their own platform.
“In all honesty, we are not giving much attention to what is happening to the camp of Sen. Grace or other camps for that matter. At this point, like what we did at the start after PNoy [President Benigno Aquino 3rd] endorsed Seretary Mar, we are focused on our own platform, we are focused on our own explanation and delivery of daang matuwid [straight path]down to the level of the barangay [villages]in the different parts of the Philippines,” Gutierrez said in a media forum
A survey conducted by the private pollster Data Advisors said Poe would win by a mile if the elections were held today in the vote-rich province of Pangasinan.
The survey was conducted among 1,500 registered voters in the three cities and 44
municipalities in Pangasinan from September 25 to 29.
The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent, found that 44.5 percent of Pangasinan will vote for Poe followed by Vice President Jejomar Binay (24.4 percent) and Roxas with 18.3 percent. Some 11.1 percent voters in Pangasinan prefer Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to run for the presidency.
Poe led in all legislative districts but was strongest in the vote-rich 3rd district (49.7 percent) which compromises the towns of Bayambang, Malasiqui, Calasiao, Mapandan, Santa Barbara and San Carlos City.
WITH REINA TOLENTINO