Roxas officially asks Poe to be his running mate

Posted on August 18, 2015

LIBERAL PARTY standard-bearer and Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II said he formally asked Senator Grace Poe to be his running mate in the 2016 elections.

“I’ve met with Senator Grace and the talks went well. As for the details, it will remain between us for now,” Mr. Roxas told reporters in Filipino during the turnover of police patrol jeeps in Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna.

Mr. Roxas declined to give details about the meeting, but said further talks are scheduled in the coming days.

Ms. Poe confirmed Mr. Roxas officially asked her to become his vice-presidential running mate during the meeting on Sunday night at her residence.

“He officially asked me. Now my answer is, thank you for considering me, but I am still deciding at this time,” she told reporters at the Senate.

Ms. Poe said she has set a deadline for herself to decide on whether to run for higher office, but declined to reveal the date.

The Commission on Elections has set the filing of candidacy for the 2016 elections on Oct. 12-16.

Ms. Poe has consistently ranked high in recent presidential surveys by the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, along with current Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay. Mr. Roxas, on the other hand, has lagged behind Mr. Binay and Ms. Poe in the surveys.

Only Mr. Binay and Mr. Roxas have declared they will run for president in 2016, with Ms. Poe dropping hints but not confirming that she will also join the race. -- Alden M. Monzon

Losing senatorial bet files electoral offense complaint against Poe

A DEFEATED senatorial candidate, who petitioned to unseat Senator Grace Poe earlier this month, has filed an electoral offense complaint this time before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

In a 20-page complaint-affidavit filed before the Comelec Law Department on Monday, Rizalito Y. David said Ms. Poe violated Section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code by misrepresenting herself as a “natural-born” Filipino citizen eligible to run for a senatorial seat during the 2013 elections.

Aside from declaring herself a “natural-born” citizen in her certificate of candidacy, Ms. Poe categorically stated she had been residing in the country before the May 13, 2013 elections was six years and six months.

An electoral offense under the Omnibus Election Code carries the penalty of imprisonment for one to six years, as well as disqualification from public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.

Mr. David’s affidavit said the senator cannot declare herself a “natural-born” citizen, who are exclusively allowed by the Constitution to serve as senator, because she was a stateless foundling with no proof of being born to a Filipino parent.

The senator could also not have acquired residence in the Philippines and reacquired Filipino citizenship upon renouncing her American citizenship, because only natural-born citizens can exercise that option under Republic Act No. 9225, the affidavit added.

“The gravamen of the offense is material misrepresentation. As Llamanzares misrepresented her citizenship, her period of residence, and her eligibility to run for senator, these transgressions should be penalized accordingly,” Mr. David urged in his complaint.

Mr. David, linked to the Ang Kapatiran Party, filed earlier this month a petition quo warranto before the Senate Electoral Tribunal seeking to unseat her two years into her six-year term that began after topping the 12-seat race in 2013.

In 1968, Ms. Poe was reportedly left as a newborn baby in a church in Jaro, Iloilo, and was later on adopted by celebrity couple, Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan S. Roces.

Mr. Poe ran for president in 2004 but lost the elections marred by allegations of widespread cheating. Ms. Poe, meanwhile, has yet to announce her political plans but is reportedly eyeing a higher position for the 2016 elections.

In a statement, George Garcia, Ms. Poe’s legal counsel, denied the allegations.

“There was no misrepresentation because Senator Grace Poe is a natural-born Filipino. We are confident that the SC (Supreme Court) will decide in our favor. Clearly, the complainant is fishing for a forum to air his baseless accusations.”

Mr. Garcia said in Filipino that Ms. Poe is being maltreated just like her father, Fernando Poe, Jr.

“This complaint is not an advocacy like he is making it appear but this is harassment and an insult,” Mr. Garcia said in Filipino.

Mr. Garcia added their camp is ready to answer the complaint and to dispute the lies being hurled against Ms. Poe. -- Vince Alvic Alexis F. Nonato and Elizabeth E. Escaño