Senator Grace Poe rejected calls, apparently from LP allies, to yield to LP standard bearer Mar Roxas in order to defeat the front-runner Rodrigo Duterte.
At a news conference in Makati City, Poe scoffed and asked: “Sino ba sila?” (Who are they?), referring to groups that signed a change.org petition for her to withdraw, because it was apparently a part of her patriotic duty to stop the vastly popular Davao mayor’s win on May 9.
“Hindi tayo sindikato [we are not a syndicate] who can easily trade positions and support for a common cause.”
Poe had been the survey front-runner until two weeks ago, when Duterte slowly but steadily edged past her.
His surge in surveys has alarmed sectors in human rights, church and business because of his tough-talking ways, his callous remarks on rape, against diplomats, and his cavalier attitude toward extrajudicial kilings.
The senator was fierce in her appeal for voters not to choose her rivals, whom she called incompetent, inefficient, corrupt, a self-confessed womanizer and a killer. She was rumored to be referring to the incompetence and inefficiency of Roxas in handling two departments, the corruption issue Vice President Jejomar Binay refuses to answer up until now, and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, a self-confessed womanizer and a killer.
"Nariyan na talaga ang mga dati nang hinihiling ng ating mga kababayan na magkaroon ng permanenteng trabaho, magkaroon ng mas mababang presyo ng bilihin, na ang kanilang mga anak ay magkaroon ng dekalidad na edukasyon," she said.
(There have been previous requests from our people to find permanent jobs, pay lower prices for goods and services, and provide quality education for their children.)
But she added: "Ang hinahanap ng ating mga kababayan ay higit pa diyan, na maging ligtas sila sa mga kalsada, na ang kanilang mga military ay magkaroon ng sapat na gamit para depensahan hindi lamang ang ating bayan kundi pati nating mga mangingisda laban sa mga dayuhan na bumabanta sa kanila. At dismayado na rin sila sa korapsyon na patuloy pa ring umiiral pati na rin sa ating mga paliparan na nabibiktima hindi lamang ang mga taong umuuwi dito, kundi lalong-lalo na ang ating mga OFW na nagdadala ng pera sa ating bansa galing sa ibang bansa."
(But the needs of our people are more than that. They also want to be safe on the streets, to have a military strong enough to defend not just our country, but also for the fisherman who fight against outside threats. The people are also dismayed at the continuing corruption that perpetuate even in our airports – not just for the balikbayans, but also for the OFWs who remit money to our country from other countries.)
Poe strongly criticized Duterte and his running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano for their quick, tough and dubious solutions to our problems.
"Parang [kung] sino ang pwedeng mangako ng pinakamabilis na solusyon, maski na ano pa man 'yan, tatanggapin na natin.
(It feels like just about anybody could promise a quick solution, and whatever that is, we’d accept it.)
She likened Duterte to an executioner, for using fear and intimdation tactics to get things done.
"Ang isang berdugong tinatakot tayo o ang isang gobyerno na kinakatakutan natin ay hindi po maaaring magbigay sa atin ng ating pinapangarap," she explained. "Para po itong gamot na mas lalong makakasama sa atin, na mas lalong makakasama kaysa sa ating karamdaman."
(An executioner who scares us or a government that we are afraid of is not one that can help us reach our dreams. This is like medicine that just makes our condition worse.)
"Ang ibig sabihin po ng berdugo ay isang taong nakatakip ang mukha, na hindi natin talaga kilala pero ang binibiktima ay ang sarili nating mga kababayan," she said. "Ito ay binibigti nila at mas lalong ginigipit."
(An executioner is someone who is faceless, who we don’t really know but we and our country are victims of nevertheless. They will suppress us more.)
Duterte said in various interviews that the first six months of his administration would be bloody, as he would first make quick work of eliminating all drug pushers, users, criminals – and even corrupt public officials. He is willing to go as far as killing his own son if his son is proven to have been using drugs.
Incompetent and inefficient Roxas
Next, Poe appealed to the voters to think twice about Roxas, because of his incompetency and inefficiency as a public officer in two government agencies – the Department of Transportiation and Communications (DOTC) and the Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG).
"Pati rin ako ay dismayado na at ilang beses ko na rin itong ipinahayag sa ilang beses na imbestigasyon sa Senado at ilang beses na pagpapahayag na dapat palitan ang ibang mga namumuno sa ating mga departamento ngunit hindi ito pinapakinggan," Poe revealed, referring to investigations on drugs, criminality, MRT maintenance and other anomalies in the mentioned departments.
(I myself am dismayed, and I have brought this up several times at several Senate investigations, and several times the replacement of the heads of departments have been discussed, but this was not listened to.)
Lastly, she asked the electorate to be wary of Binay, who until now has not been cleared of his corruption charges.
He was investigated by the Senate on his allegedly overpriced projects while he was the Mayor of Makati, as well as the sell-out of a parcel of land in the city owned by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
She urged everybody to choose a candidate who could run a government that they would be proud of.