Poe apologizes to Lacson, says excluding him ‘not the intention’
Senator Grace Poe apologized again on Thursday, this time, to former Senator Panfilo Lacson for excluding him from her senatorial ticket in the 2016 elections.
“Unang-una ako po ay nagpapasalamat pero humihingi rin ako ng pasensya at paumanhin sa kanya. Hindi po yun ang naging intensyon,” Poe told reporters after announcing her complete senatorial line up next year.
(First of all, I am thanking [Lacson] but I am also asking for an apology to him. That was not the intention.)
She was reacting to Lacson’s earlier claim that he was dropped from the slate in favor of another candidate, actor-host Edu Manzano.
Poe admitted that they had initially drafted Lacson as part of the slate but reconsidered after the latter was endorsed by the administration’s Liberal Party (LP) and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
She also reiterated that Lacson’s big chance of returning to the Senate was also one of the reasons why they decided not to include him anymore in the slate.
“Kahit naman wala sya officially sa aming partido, naniniwala rin kami sa kanya,” said Poe.
(Although he was not officially included in our party, we still believe in him.)
Asked if she thought Lacson was harboring ill feeling towards her, the senator said: “Alam nyo, sana huwag na nating palakihin.”
(You know, I hope we will not make this a big deal.)
“Pero totoo naman talaga na noong umpisa ay sya’y iniisip naming isama at ang problema lamang po, noong bandang huli, wala rin syang masabing mechanics sa pagkampanya sapagkat ayaw din nya siguro na sumama ang loob ng ibang grupo kung sasama sya palagi sa amin o kung palipat-lipat so naiitindihan ko rin yun,” she added.
(However, it is true that in the beginning, we were thinking of including him and the only problem was, in the end, he did not mention any mechanics in campaigning because maybe he did not want other members of the party to harbor ill feeling towards him if he would always join us or he would switch so I understand that.)
Asked how Lacson’s case was different from the case of Senator Ralph Recto, who was included in her slate despite his good chance of winning the senatorial race based on various surveys, Poe pointed out that Recto was not endorsed by other groups except the LP where he is a member.
“Kailangan namin si Senator Recto dahil alam naming magaling din syang ekonomista… sya rin ay kwalipikado,” she said.
(We need Senator Recto because we know he is a good economist…he is also qualified.)
Poe also explained why Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez and former Secretary Joel Villanueva did not make it to her slate.
In the case of Romualdez, she said the congressman was already part of the UNA slate while Villanueva was already in the LP ticket.
“Hindi ko sya kilala masyado noon tapos noong nakausap ko sya nakita ko nakapatalino nya at marami syang ipinaglalaban lalong lalo na sa kanyang mga kababayan sa Eastern Visayas. Sayang lang nga, gusto ko ngang sabihin bakit ngayon ka lang?” she said, referring to Romualdez.
(I didn’t know him well then when I talked to him, I saw that he is very intelligent and he has many advocacies especially for his fellows in Eastern Visayas. It is regrettable, I wanted to tell him: “Why did you come just now?”)
Although Villanueva is smart, Poe said the former Secretary already has the strong support of LP. RAM
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