MANILA – Despite attacks over their tandem, presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe and her running-mate Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for president and vice-president, respectively, at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office yesterday.
Filing their COCs as independents, Poe was accompanied by her mother, veteran actress Susan Roces, while Escudero was accompanied by his wife, Kapuso actress Heart Evangelista, along with several supporters.
Both senators topped the presidential and vice-presidential preferences surveys but would not be complacent.
“Even if you are the frontrunner, you always have to work as if you are the last… It doesn’t matter who enters the race. We wish them all well, but we… focus on our own… and how we can really help the people,” Poe said in an interview with ANC News, adding that they welcomed more contenders which would give more choices for the Filipino voters.
The tandem also dismissed accusations on copying the platform of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), and regarding Poe being ineligible to seek an elective post.
“We want to pursue the gains right now… work on what is lacking under the present government and uplift the lives of our people,” Escudero said in a Philippine Star report.
“Whoever is behind this (disqualification case), Senator Grace is ready to face these challenges. And I think she can surpass the challenges being thrown against her by the Liberal Party or whoever else,” he added.
“Even when we were still contemplating running as president and vice president, our purpose was clear. Ours will be a deliberate leadership that will not be distracted by petty politics,” Poe said, adding that they were ‘geared toward realizing the real purpose of leading the country to effectively face the challenges of the future.’
Poe also disclosed that her team-up with Escudero have always been focused on alleviating the Filipino people from poverty.
“At this point, the people should really feel the care and protection of the government… I know this is the chance for us to have a government that is organized, whose care we would feel so that the lives of the poor would improve and they themselves could receive services and protection,” she said in an Inquirer.net report.
Acknowledging the gains from the Aquino administration, the neophyte senator pointed out that several sectors could still be improved, including peace and order, education and employment, among others.
“These are some of the things that we want to do which would truly give people equal opportunity, and not just a few,” she added.