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Poe ‘comfortable’ with Escudero as her VP

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Poe ‘comfortable’ with Escudero as her VP

Senators Grace Poe and Francis  "Chiz" Escudero. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

Sen. Grace Poe on Monday said she would be “comfortable” teaming up with Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero in 2016, but she stressed that would not be the only basis of any decision she would make on whether to run for President next year.

Escudero has been a family friend of the Poes, having served as spokesman for Poe’s father, the late action king Fernando Poe Jr., when the actor ran for President in 2004.

Poe spoke to reporters to make it clear anew that she had not decided whether she would run for a higher office and to address talk that she would be running for President with either Escudero or Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as her Vice President.

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Talk of Poe teaming up with Roxas or Escudero cropped up after Poe admitted that she was looking up to President Aquino on her possible role in the 2016 elections.

“I really don’t know,” Poe said about talk that it would either be a Poe-Roxas or Poe-Escudero tandem in the 2016 presidential race.

“As they say, when it comes to courting somebody, let’s hope it is really true love. We cannot really say for sure if it is true or not,” Poe added.

She said one could not really say what the intentions of people were.

“For me, what is important is that the candidates should be able to say how they can help the country,” Poe said.

Won’t jump the gun

On talk of a Poe-Escudero tandem, Poe said it could not be denied that they had longer ties, dating back to the time when Escudero was the spokesman of her father in the 2004 presidential race.

“Kumportable ako kay Senator Escudero pero hindi naman lamang yun ang basehan (I am comfortable with Senator Escudero but that is not the only basis),” she said, noting that both of them had no political parties.

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She also said that she did not want to jump the gun and assume she would be the presidential candidate, especially when the Liberal Party (LP)—or some of its leaders—were gunning for party mate Roxas to run for President.

“I would sound so presumptuous if I say that I would be on top (ako ang mauuna) and they would be Vice President,” Poe said.

She said President Aquino and his party were still discussing the 2016 presidential race.

Campaigning together

Asked whether she would tell the LP that she preferred Escudero to be her running mate, Poe merely cited the reasons for choosing a running mate—including the importance of having confidence in a running mate and that the decision of the group supporting it would prevail.

“But I am not denying that from the 2013 elections, Senator Chiz and I had been together in going around and campaigning,” she said, referring to the time when they were both running for senator under the administration banner in 2013.

She also pointed out that Escudero had helped the Poes a lot when her father was running for President in 2004.

“He and Secretary Mar had both been good to us but it cannot be denied that Senator Chiz and I have been together longer,” she said.

A joking matter

Asked whether she and Escudero had talked about the possibility of their teaming up in 2016, she said they would joke about it.

Poe admitted that there were many groups pushing for a Poe-Escudero tandem but she made it clear there had been no serious discussion about it.

Poe also addressed the talk that she was a US citizen and, therefore, she was not qualified to run for President. She said the citizenship issue was also raised against her father in the 2004 elections.

Dual citizenship

She said she gave up her dual citizenship when she became chief of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in 2010.

She said she had renounced her US citizenship and that under the dual citizenship law, “you will revert to your original status—which is natural born.”

“I would not be brazen (enough) to accept a position in government, especially as early as the MTRCB, if I were not qualified and I am not a Filipino,” Poe said.

For his part, Escudero thanked those supporting a Poe-Escudero tandem in 2016 for having faith in their leadership.

But he made it clear that while he and Poe would talk about such a possibility “sometimes seriously and sometimes as a joke,” he and Poe had not made up their minds as to whether they would run for a higher office.

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TAGS: Chiz Escudero, Elections, Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, Politics, tandems
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