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Poe hits Mar, LP

Let the voters decide, senator says of Roxas, Abad overtures

SENATOR Grace Poe on Monday scored Liberal Party (LP) officials led by Interior and Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad for trying to weaken her position and dissuading her from running for president in 2016.

“This is a fight for the future of our countrymen. Some people have said I should not run for a higher position because I will only divide the votes. Can’t we leave that to the voters to decide?” Poe said after Abad announced to the media that they would meet with Poe to convince her to run as Roxas’ vice president.

She also said she suspected the Liberals of being behind reports questioning her citizenship.

Poe
Poe, who leads the latest opinion polls, said she had not yet spoken to Abad, but was open to talking to Roxas because he is a friend.

“But that’s it. They tell the media first about the invitation,” she said.

Sought for comment, Abad said: “I never said or did anything along that line. I have always respected her choice, whichever way it goes.”

Roxas, the standard bearer for the Liberals, issued an invitation to Poe to be his running mate through a nationally televised morning talk show last week.

Until now, no meeting with Roxas has been scheduled, Poe said.

“He told somebody that we should see each other  again, but there’s no schedule yet,” she said.

She also said what she would say to Roxas was the same: she was still “discerning and praying” on her decision.

A losing senatorial candidate last week filed a quo warranto case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal seeking to unseat Poe from the Senate by questioning her citizenship.

Before that, personal attacks against Poe came out in a tabloid, accusing  her of being an alcoholic who had undergone rehab. The news report also said she was abusive to maids.

Although she is unsure of running, Poe said she would decide based on a platform of government that she and her advisers were preparing, and her consultations with people.

Senator Serge Osmena III said the LP would not be able to convince Poe to run with Roxas as she bent on seeking the presidency. He said the President met Poe on five occasions, but was unable to convince her to support a common ticket.

Also on Monday, Caloocan City congressman and Liberal Party spokesman Edgar Erice denied reports that he gave Rizalito David P1 million to pursue the disqualification bid against Poe before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

“You know, whoever is behind that text message, his purpose is for Secretary Mar and Senator Grace not to reach common ground, so I’m very sure that I’m not the one behind that because it’s been my long dream for them to be a tandem,” said Erice over radio dzMM.

“I’ve never seen nor met Rizalito David in my entire life,” he added.

On Monday morning, text messages circulated to members of the press claiming that Erice was behind the suit.

“It was Edgar Erice who gave Rizalito David one million to pursue the case against Grace Poe. They call this tactic as “atake-hila” until Grace is forced to run as Mar’s VP. Liberal Party has already talked to SET (Senate Electoral Tribunal) members like (Loren) Legarda, Pia (Cayetano), and others,” the text message said.

Erice said a Roxas-Poe tandem would be the “perfect team” to continue the reforms started by the Aquino administration.

Erice said there has been no meeting between Poe and Roxas since they met in the Palace with President Aquino.

“It would be unethical if we would talk to other vice-presidential candidates if our talks with Senator Grace haven’t came to a close,” Erice said.

“In God’s time, (Mar’s VP) will come,” he added.

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