Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Francis Escudero, who are both running for vice president, continued to trade barbs Tuesday on the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s decision on the disqualification case filed against Senator Grace Poe.
In an interview with reporters, Cayetano defended Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte from Escudero’s earlier statement that the local executive is just using Poe.
Duterte announced over the weekend that he has decided that he will run for the presidency in 2016 because of the Senate Electoral Tribunal's (SET) ruling junking the disqualification petition against Poe.
“Si Sen. Escudero sinabi na ginagamit lang ni Mayor Duterte ang SET decision para tumakbo. Masama ba o mali ba kung sabihin ni Mayor Duterte na this is an issue to him, he does not want an American president. The issue to him is do you throw away the Constitution just because someone has powerful backers?” Cayetano said.
“Bakit kailangan mong ibaba ang lebel ng usapan at sasabihin mong ginagamit ni Mayor Duterte itong isyu na ito, importante itong isyu na to,” he added.
The Davao City mayor has confirmed that Cayetano will be his running mate. Escudero, meanwhile, is Poe's running mate.
In a press statement, Escudero said he respects the views of Duterte but urged the the mayor not to belittle those who do not share his views.
“Hindi naman siguro dahilan iyon para maliitin o paratangan ako o si Senator Grace o sinuman, dahil lamang magkaiba kami ng pananaw,” he said.
Escduero was reacting to Duterte's statement that he was using Poe. Escudero then told the mayor not to use Poe's case an an excuse for his presidential ambition.
“Kung may nanggagamit, may nagpapagamit palagi. At hindi naman porke’t babae o baguhan sa pulitika si Senator Grace, mayroon dapat nasa likod niya o mayroon nagdidikta sa kanya,” Escudero said.
“Huwag naman sana ilagay siya sa ganoong posisyon. Sa maikling karanasan niya sa Senado, naipakita niya na may sarili siyang paninindigan—sariling paniniwala na tinatayuan niya mismo nang hindi inaasahan ang sino pa man,” he added.
He said the fact that Poe had been given a birth certificate and passport, was legally adopted, and later allowed to run for and serve as a senator, meant only one thing: she is a Filipino and qualified to be a public servant.
“Hindi po nasusukat ang pagmamahal sa bayan dahil lamang siguro sa pananaw ng isa o iilan. Nasusukat lamang iyan sa puso, sa intension, sa galaw at sa gawa bilang isang Pilipino,” he said. —ALG, GMA News