Now, Poe is ‘praying’ for Duterte
IS SHE having a change of heart?
After trading barbs in the media with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe on Monday said she was “praying” that the new survey front-runner in next year’s presidential election would not be disqualified from the race.
Sounding reconciliatory, Poe also declined to comment on reports that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) would start looking into the alleged human rights violations by Duterte.
“I hope that won’t happen,” Poe told reporters when asked about the possibility of Duterte being disqualified over a flaw in his certificate of candidacy (COC).
“I’m praying that he will not be disqualified. My prayer is for him to be given a chance to run [for President] because that’s what we’re fighting for,” she said.
Poe, who led the commemoration of the 11th death anniversary of her adoptive father, movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., at Manila North Cemetery, said she had the same prayer for herself.
Poe is facing four disqualification cases in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) involving her citizenship and Philippine residency.
Whether Duterte will be allowed to run will not be known until the Comelec puts his name on the ballot, Poe said.
“My father experienced that,” she said, referring to FPJ’s presidential run in 2004, which did not become clear until the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in a case questioning his citizenship.
The Supreme Court decision came down in time for the printing of the 2004 ballot.
Poe, who is serving the first half of her six-year term in the Senate, and Duterte traded barbs in the media after the Davao mayor said in late November he decided to run for President because the Senate Electoral Tribunal threw out a petition for her ouster from the Senate on the grounds that she was not a native-born Filipino and she did not meet the residency requirement for elective officials.
“I cannot accept an American president,” Duterte told reporters, referring to Poe, then the front-runner in the voter preference polls for the presidential election.
Poe struck back, saying human rights violators should not be allowed to lead the Philippines.
She did not name Duterte, but the reference to the Davao mayor was clear. Duterte goes around bragging about extrajudicial executions of criminals in Davao City.
On Monday, Poe said she was not referring to anyone in her statement on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.
“For me, it’s about international human rights. As they say, we should respect human rights,” she said.
Asked if she supported the CHR decision to investigate Duterte’s alleged human rights abuses, she said: “What I want to say is thank you to the CHR for recognizing the rights of foundlings.”
Poe also declined to comment on the argument between Duterte and administration presidential candidate Mar Roxas in the media.
“I don’t want to be involved with them,” she said. “Let them be.”