Leni Robredo on Grace Poe: No ‘bad blood’ between us
There’s no bad blood between herself and Grace Poe, according to Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, seeking to dispel attempts “to pit the two of us against each other.”
“I’m not out to target her…I was just answering questions,” said the widow of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo in an interview.
According to Robredo, she was not trying to be controversial when she made statements that were diametrically opposed to the views of Poe, particularly on the citizenship questions plaguing the freshman senator.
But the congresswoman who has been mentioned as a potential running mate of Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas is standing by her statements—even at the risk of offending Poe, the front-runner in presidential and vice presidential preference surveys.
‘She must clarify’
“I feel that the citizenship issue is not just a technicality for someone seeking the presidency. This is not about her being a foundling,” said Robredo, a lawyer and economist.
She said she felt that Poe, as someone with presumptive designs on the presidency, must clarify the details of when she renounced her Filipino citizenship to become an American citizen, before reacquiring her Filipino citizenship to become a public servant.
Her answers will inform the electorate in 2016, Robredo said.
In a television interview on Wednesday night, Robredo was prodded into answering “no” to a question on whether Poe should still seek the presidency if it emerged that she did renounce her Filipino citizenship.
Last week, she also made remarks in response to a statement from Poe citing similarities between her citizenship issue and that of Robredo’s late husband, Jesse, the Ramon Magsaysay Awards laureate and much-awarded Naga City mayor.
Robredo said Poe’s citizenship case was different from her late husband’s as the senator’s case involved declaring her allegiance to the United States, while the late Robredo’s case had to do with his father, a natural-born Filipino who was born to Chinese parents.
She said her late husband never renounced his citizenship.
“I was only saying that as a matter of fact. It was never my intention to be controversial,” Robredo said.
She said it was also “unfair” to Poe that her otherwise innocuous statements could be used to serve political interests.
Robredo said she had not had the chance to talk to Poe recently. Their last meeting took place months ago at an event related to the freedom of information bill, she said.
The two women lawmakers are proponents and advocates of the measure seen to open government documents to public scrutiny.
Outside Poe’s citizenship, Robredo said she did not know the senator well enough to comment on whether she thought Poe would make a good President, if elected.
As for her own plans in 2016, she said she did not want to run for Vice President, but was now more open to the possibility of a run for a Senate seat.
Robredo said her camp had already found a possible successor in her district in Camarines Sur in Councilor Gabriel Bordado, who was her husband’s vice mayor.
In the meantime, she will wait and see if her awareness rating goes up by September. “If my awareness rating improves, then I will run for senator. Otherwise, I will seek reelection,” she said.—DJ Yap
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