Roxas ally asks Poe about residency qualification
By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News
MANILA – First, it was an ally of Vice President Jejomar Binay. Now, it’s the turn of an ally of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas to ask Senator Grace Poe about her residency qualifications for higher office in 2016.
Liberal Party (LP) member Rep. Edgar Erice, who has been advocating for Poe to be Roxas’ running mate next year, said that while he believes there is no question about Poe being a natural born Filipino, she must answer allegations that she may fall short of the 10-year residency requirement for president and vice president for the 2016 elections.
“Si Senator Poe is a natural born Filipino, wala dapat mag-question doon. But I think Senator Grace should be more transparent as far as accusation she’s been using US passport 2006, 2007, 2009, according to former Senator Tatad,” Erice said.
“November, December 2009, accusation na ang kaniyang pamilya remains to be American citizens. Mahalaga yan kung may mag-file ng disqualification. Senator Grace owes it to people supporting her, sa mga partido na gustong mag-adopt sa kanya. She owes it to be more transparent… especially isa siya sa mga proponent ng FOI (freedom of information),” he added.
He, however, said they have not encountered any information of this sort about Poe when they vetted her before she was adopted as a senatorial candidate of the administration in 2013.
“Wala eh, she’s been part of coalition in 2013, tingin namin wala kami dapat i-vet sa kanya. Pero in view of recent allegations especially on residency, palagay ko dapat maging transparent si Senator Poe kasi napakahalaga nitong mga sumusuporta.”
Erice’s call is similar to the call of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) president Toby Tiangco, who also asked Poe to be “tapat” or straightforward on her residency.
Poe’s friend and preferred running mate, Senator Francis Escudero, for his part, said: “Anumang batikos kay Senator Poe, malamang natatakot ilan sa desisyon niya sa kandidatura. Di relevant, maliban kung tingin nila malakas si Senator Poe.”
Meanwhile, Erice said should Poe be disqualified from the race for higher office, it is possible for Roxas to team up with the senator’s preferred running mate, Escudero, instead.
“Kung ang premise if Senator Poe will be ineligible to run for higher post because of residency problem, sino magiging VP ng Liberal Party? Sabi ko marami naman tinanong din… Chiz, sabi ko posible naman yun especially since Senator Chiz is a friend of the President, kumpare ng Pangulo,” said Erice.
Escudero refused to comment, noting that he is not a member of the Liberal Party.
“Hindi para sa akin sabihing oo o hindi na walang alok, partikular kung galing kay Congressman Erice. Kahit palipad hangin wala, mula lang yan kay Congressman Erice, di opisyal na posisyon ng LP, opinyon lang ni Erice,” he said.
Erice said, however, that Roxas may personally still feel bad that Escudero endorsed Binay for the vice presidential race in 2010.
“Everything is possible considering Senator Chiz ran under Team PNoy as part of the coalition. Of course siguro personally may sama ng loob si Secretary Mar kay Senator Chiz, pero karapatan ni Senator Chiz mamili kung sino ang gusto niya. At least ngayon nalaman ni Senator Chiz nagkamali siya nung 2010. Pero past is past. Si Secretary Mar, selfless yan eh. I think kung desisyon iyan ng Pangulo para sa bayan di magiging hadlang,” he said.
Roxas, Poe and Escudero have all played coy about their plans for 2016. But Erice thinks Roxas will already quit his post next month, before President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), and announce his plans.
Roxas has been going around the country giving away patrol cars for local police.
“Si VP Binay nangangampaniya, sinasabi kandidato, nangangako na siya. Si Secretary Mar di nangangampaniya, di nangangako, pinapatupad niya lang atas ng tungkulin sa kaniya. Yung pamimigay ng patrol cars at fire trucks dapat matagal na yan, but because of numerous problems sa procurement law nabitin nang nabitin,” Erice said.
“He will not be able to finish giving patrol cars all over the country. I think he will leave his post soon, palagay ko baka di siya maka 30% until December pa-delivery ng patrol cars,” he added.