Grace Poe says she’s not ready for 2016 Palace run
MANILA, Philippines—Junior Sen. Grace Poe has thumbed down suggestions that she take a crack at the presidency in 2016, saying she isn’t ready yet.
Poe, who is being nudged by some people to run for president, said she was not considering “anything higher at this point.”
“I don’t feel I’m ready at this point,” the 45-year-old senator said in a recent interview. “I [haven’t even been here in the Senate a full year].”
Poe, Senators Cynthia Villar, Loren Legarda and Pia Cayetano could give the men a run for their money if they contest the presidency in May 2016, according to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
These senators have a good thing going for them since Poe topped the 2013 senatorial elections while Villar has money, Santiago said.
Political analyst Ramon Casiple said Poe could give Vice President Jejomar Binay a “scare” if she ran for president and could be a “strong contender” if she set her eye on the vice presidency.
“Some are pushing her to run for president, but she’s very coy. But I think she’s a real candidate,” Casiple said. Running for vice president, he said, would be an “easier possibility” for Poe.
While she garnered 20.3 million votes to emerge No. 1 in last year’s senatorial race, Poe said the presidential election was a different matter altogether.
“This is one on one. It’s different,” she said of the presidential race. “In the senatorial elections, there are 12 slots.”
Father’s tragic fate
And then, of course, she has yet to shake off memories of the tragic fate of her father, action movie king Fernando Poe Jr., who lost to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the 2004 presidential election that was marred by charges of fraud.
The elder Poe died from a stroke seven months after his electoral loss.
“My dad had a different experience. It was quite traumatic,” the senator said.
Besides, the last senatorial elections were tough enough in terms of logistics and funds, she said.
“The last election was very difficult. I don’t have the machinery nor do I have the money. I don’t have the party,” said Poe, who ran with the Aquino administration coalition.
Poe was chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board when President Aquino convinced her to run for the Senate.
The 2016 presidential election promises to be a rerun of the rivalry between Binay, who is widely believed to be running for president, and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II in 2010.
Roxas would carry the flag for the Liberal Party (LP), the party’s acting president Transportation Secretary Joseph E. A. Abaya told reporters last week.
LP vice chair Senate President Franklin Drilon, who announced in January 2013 that Roxas would be the party’s standard-bearer in 2016, is evasive this time.
“Let’s work on the Bangsamoro Basic Law first before we talk politics,” he said when asked on Sunday over dzBB to confirm Abaya’s statement. “The best politics to me is performing your job. The best preparation is doing your job.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.