MANILA – Should Senator Grace Poe be elected as the next Philippine president, former Manila City mayor and now Buhay party-list representative Lito Atienza fret that she may become an ‘on-the-job (OJT) president.’
“’Pag si Senator Grace Poe ang maging pangulo ay magiging on-the-job training naman ang mangyari sa atin,” Atienza said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM.
(If Senator Grace Poe becomes president, we will have an on-the-job training [president].)
Poe topped the most recent Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia presidential preferences surveys, escalating past Vice President Jejomar Binay who used to dominate the polls.
To this, Atienza believed that voters should support the candidate with more experience in governance.
“Pumili tayo ng malalim na malalim ang karanasan… Ang kailangan natin ay yung may karanasan,” he said, urging the public not to be swayed by candidates’ popularity levels.
(We should choose [the candidate] with extensive experience… What we need [is a president] who has experience.)
But should Poe win the presidential race like how she surged the senatorial race, Atienza feared the consequence the country will face.
“Kinakabahan ako kung maging President si Grace Poe kasi wala siyang experience… Kapag siya ay naging pangulo saan na naman tayo tatakbo? Another six years of what,” he said.
(I’m worried should Grace Poe become [the next] president because she has no experience…. If she becomes president, whom do we run to? Another six years of what?)
Atienza then suggested that Poe seek reelection first then run for a higher post after her second term as senator.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has already expressed interest in joining next year’s presidential race, earlier stated that it was ‘risky to entrust the next government to those without experience and competence.’
Poe, for her part, remained undecided whether to seek higher office in next year’s elections or not.