Poe bares owners of private planes
BAGUIO CITY — Senator Grace Poe finally named on Tuesday at least two companies that own the private jets they use in their campaign; one of them, she said, was sometimes also being used by President Benigno Aquino III himself.
Poe identified the two as the Helitrend and the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), which she said provide the jets for them either on lease or borrowed.
“Sa ngayon, halo ‘yan; may mga nagpapahiram sa amin, merong iba namang nirerentahan.Wala naman kaming tinatago ukol dito…” she said when asked during a press conference here to reveal the name of the companies that provide the jets.
“Maraming iba’t ibang kompanya. ‘Yung ibang nirerenatahan namin, si Helitrend, ‘yun ang talagang kanilang negosyo at hindi lang kami ang nanghihiram dun. Maraming humihiram dun; malalagay naman ‘yun sa SOCE.”
“’Yung isang kompanya na hinihiraman namin o nagpapahiram sa amin ay San Miguel Corporation. Kung meron mang mga iba pa, ito naman ay mailalagay din namin sa SOCE,” the senator added.
One of the two firms, Poe said, is also lending their jets to President Aquino.
“Nagpapahiram din naman sila sa ibang mga pulitiko. Pwede silang tanungin tungkol d’yan at kahit na mismo ang ating Pangulo, pag nangangailangan at kinakapos, humihiram doon,” she said.
Asked later which company she was referring to, the senator said it was the SMC.
“Not regularly, but if it’s needed; like kunyari, may engagement si President at hindi pwede yung… I don’t know, meron ba silang special plane…?”
As to the companies that are providing jets for her and her team during the campaign, Poe explained that the arrangement was that they just pay at “a very discounted rate.”
“Or ‘yung gasolina, we have to pay for, and the pilot…” she said. “Very discounted, but we need to declare it in the SOCE, how much we paid for the gas, and for the pilot. Very discounted.”
Asked if there would be no conflict of interest since they are getting discounts from the two companies, Poe said: “Kasi hindi naman kompanya ang nagdo-donate sa amin e. First of all we need to pay for that…”
She said it was still the prerogative of the companies how much discount they would give to them.
Poe’s rival, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas earlier challenged all presidential bets to disclose the owners of the private planes they use in the campaign. JE
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