Most of those who want Sen. Grace Poe as their vice president do not necessarily need her votes. But her sliding to the vice presidency eliminates, in their minds, the most marketable soul (rival) for the 2016 presidency-even without her declaring any ambition for Â it.
Time and again , this Editorial had postulated (in the past) that the presidency should be given to the one who least desires it. Because he/she does not covet it -no one dares to make deals with him/her to help get the win in 2016 (and the consequent “rewards”) ,thereafter, that go with it.
It is Sen. Grace Poe who people think the Binay camp is most afraid of.
The Binay camp had overtures to Grace to be Â Binay’s VP -which the senator flatly but politely declined. Now,they say she was only “considered”. Fine. There is no law against “face saving” in this country.
When they realized Sen. Grace was probably gunning for the presidency, Binay said the country cannot afford an “inexperienced” president. Grace is not stupid and felt alluded to- and threw a punch Â stating that most importantly, a president must first be honest. Binay, all know, is facing billion peso corruption charges Â validated by fund transfers in the millions by the Anti-Money Laundering Authorities.
Grace Poe ,after a few hours of reading the transcript, was the fourth senator to sign the Final Senate Report accusing the Vice president and his Makati mayor son of plunder. Now that ten senators have signed the paper- the Â Final Senate Report is final. Only senator Lito Lapid cannot understand what that means.
The next day, the spike-haired Rep Toby Tiangco (one spokesman) questioned if Senator Grace had ten year residency (needed to be either President or VP) and Â that if she is indeed a natural born citizen since she is, as everyone knows, a foundling,abandonadaÂ child -but legally adopted by Movie King FPJ and Movie Queen Susan Roces who married in 1968.(They were child less,then)
This is where the combative spirit in “Panday” (FPJ’s heroic role) rightfully transformed Â Grace into the feisty woman -and said she has legal proofs she has the ten year residency and that she knows she is a Filipino citizen. She was appointed as head of the MTRCB and elected senate top notcher- both Â government public positions requiring Filipino Â citizenship.
Part of the nation -who were Â then neutral to Grace then- suddenly saw a downtrodden underdog in her who said “even foundlings cannot be deprived of their rights” to aspire for things and help the country.She was particularly peeved that Tiangco hinted at her “dishonesty” for these while Â she was Â prodding others to be forthright. She said in thisÂ world, we cannot choose our parents , but we have a choice whether we shame our parents or not-by what we do in life.
She went to Jaro ,Iloilo where “Baby Grace” was originally found to trace her roots even as she accused Â Toby of being a congressman of Navotas but does not reside there (Tail between the legs, Tiangco apologized for “destroying” the link between the Binays and Poe families-who were once allied versus GMA in 2004).
The latest buzz is that the avowed biological father , a certain Militar , fathered aÂ colegialaÂ Â from Colegio de Paul -but Baby Grace had to be given finally to a rich single woman from Bacolod ( of Â the famous Valencia-Ledesma clan) , a friend of the Poes (Susan’s parents are from Bacolod) who eventually turned her to the Poes who welcomed her with open hearts.
(Some legal pundits declare that the toddler who was left in a baptismal font in the Jaro Cathedral , must have been born in the country (likely in Iloilo) because how can one Â have entered a child to this Â country without Â the necessary legal papers- if indeed she was born abroad?0
The Militar kins are ready for a DNA test and the senator is mulling over the possibility Â seriously. Another legal opinion said , a person cannot be “stateless”; then another that residency is not always measured by mere Â physical presence but the intent to be here as when people become OFWS or those who study abroad as Sen. Grace did in the USA.
When a nationwide Â public Â “backlash” against the Binays erupted into a tidal wave of sorts, the VP was quick to wash his hands ,like Pontius Pilate, that he Â earlier “dissuaded” Rep Tiangco not to take up the residency and citizenship issue vs. Grace.Â Grace would have none of Â of the charade -and said a sensitive issue like that could not have been made public without the approval of the UNA powers that be. (Binay blushes?)
Toby apologized and the Lady Grace accepted. But she finished the round by saying that she respects the friendship between their families ” but friendship ends when national interests begin” or words to that effect. Further, she said earlier ,as undeclared candidate, she speaks for herself openly while the VP hides behind a flank of spokesmen (Tiangco, Atty JV Bautista, Joey Salgado and Gov Remulla).Why indeed?
When Rep Abigail Binay tried to mend fences , and “obviously” to dissipate the huge political boomerang versus the Binays declared that the Â Tiangco issues should not be raised Â again and “let the courts decide”. But Sen Grace just calmly said :” I am just a phone call away and we see each other in the senate” and none of the Binays had personally approached her regarding the controversy as of last Friday. Sen. Grace was not born yesterday; she is 47.
If the Poe family was indeed “special” to the Binays, it should have been easy to fire Tiangco ,after all, Binay has many other Â so-called “spokespersons”. A foot in the mouth disease, then? A sick person must be commiserated then rather than condemned?
This pony-trailed girl in the Senate, indeed, Â has turned into a sword-bearing Panday everyone now dreads.Â Let the June SWS survey say who made the most political errors this second quarter.
“I’d rather be accused of Â not knowing where I came from than to be accused of corruption” is Â the senator’s Â stinging rebuke that echoed through the land that could put an asterisk in one of the greatest political blunders in the Binay campaign.
Like a Joan of Ark riding on a high white horse, Sen. Grace , then met head-one the question whether she is the (illegitimate) daughter of actress Rosemarie Sonora Â (Susan’s sister) and the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. She took the rumor with humor that she sometimes calls Bongbong Marcos in the senate asÂ “kuya”Â and Marcos addresses her asÂ “sis”Â just to humor people.
One time , the young Marcos Â had categorically stated in public Â :” I have only two sisters: Imee and Irene”. There you go.
The LP hierarchy led by Senate President Franklin Drilon and DILG Chief Â Mar Roxas were, of course, quick to defend Grace Poe and left the courts to decide the issue.Â It is a calculated political statement. After all, Grace Poe is still a potential vice president of Roxas and even a presidential bet of the LP-Coalition. Besides, the episode Â makes Binay look darker than the dark horse, he once was. Why not ride on it? Â “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” kind of thinking.
Overseas in Tokyo, an exasperated President Aquino called on politicians to raise the level of debate to issues (addressed to Binay) and not to over-react (maybe addressed to Senator Grace).
But knowing the senator, she will stand her ground, especially because the Binay camp had accused her of “dishonesty” ,a trait that is anathema to anyone who wants to wear the scapular of the “Daang Matuwid”.Â Senator Grace, people must know by now, is her own woman.
In the Mamasapano crisis, although she pointed to many extraneous factors to the debacle , she still said “the buck stops at the office of the president”.
That is what we mean by a person who does not desire the presidency. She will not hedge, she will not be ambivalent. She will fire a straight arrow at the direction she chooses. She is Senator Grace Poe.
That is why every one who wants the presidency is afraid of her.
Whether they admit it or not. She could not care less.
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