Palace denies Aquino took a swipe at Poe during Roxas endorsement
Was President Benigno Aquino III referring to Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero when he said the future of the country couldn’t be left to a “maybe”?
Malacañang on Saturday said Aquino, during his endorsement speech for Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II was not referring to anyone in particular.
“Wala hong binanggit na pangalan ang Pangulong Aquino (President Aquino did not mention any names),” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.
She was responding to speculation that the President alluded to Poe and Escudero, whom he has been persuading to keep the coalition intact for the 2016 elections.
Poe, who led the last election survey, and Escudero have reportedly been toying with the idea of running as independents and teammates in the next national elections.
But Aquino has been dead set in pushing for Roxas’ candidacy, which he eventually announced on Friday.
During the confidential talks, Aquino supposedly discussed with them and with Roxas the need to continue his reforms. Until the days leading to Friday, it was not clear what Aquino’s decision would be although some said Poe would not agree to run as Roxas’ vice president since she was committed to Escudero.
READ: LP exec: Poe ties with Escudero mired Aquino plans for her
Some observers believe that Aquino might have alluded to Poe when he said, “What is at stake is far too important to leave to “maybe.” Perhaps there those who think: Maybe others can continue what we have started. Maybe others can hold the corrupt accountable. Maybe others can continue the upward trajectory of the economy and widen the coverage of social services. Maybe others will stay on the straight path.”
Emphasizing that Roxas was “fully ready” seemed to have also implied that Aquino was comparing his candidate to Poe, who has been called “hilaw” or unripe by her critics.
In an interview on Friday, Poe admitted that Roxas has had a longer career in government. However, she said, “Pero ako naman kahit iyong nahihinog pa lamang, minsan pinipili ng mga tindera at mamimili sapagkat mas tumatagal.” (But if you ask me, fruits that are just starting to ripen are sometimes the ones chosen by sellers and consumers because they last longer.) IDL
READ: Poe twits Aquino: Ripening fruits get picked more often
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