Poe denies disrespecting Isabela Governor Dy

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential bet Grace Poe allegedly disrespected Isabela Governor Faustino "Bojie" Dy III during a campaign sortie in the province on Tuesday, April 26, local reports and a high-level source close to the Dy family said.

Reports said Dy was offended when Poe publicly asked him why he was there in her sortie. Poe reportedly expressed concern that she and Dy might be photographed together.

The source said Dy and his family were insulted by what happened, saying the governor only met with Poe out of courtesy.

Although Dy is a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition supporting Poe and running mate Francis Escudero, he is supporting the candidacy of administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II.

Poe, for her part, refuted these claims, saying she and Dy are friends. Poe admitted she indeed asked Dy about his presence but only because she was worried that the governor might be put in a difficult situation.

"Actually kaibigan ko si Governor Dy at alam ko tali rin sya dahil nagdeklara na sya ng suporta kay Sec Mar. Nagulat nga ako na nandun sya. Kasi nga di ko inakala. Eh kaibigan ko sya, sabi ko, 'O Governor, bakit nandito ka?' Alam mo bilang kaibigan 'di naman lahat pulitika,” Poe said in a chance interview in Quezon City.

(Actually Governor Dy is my friend and I know he's bound by his declaration of support for Secretary Mar. I was surprised that he was there because I really did not expect it. He's my friend, I told him, 'O Governor, why are you here?' You know, it's not all about politics between friends.)

Vice Governor Tonypet Albano, a friend of Dy, told Rappler that Poe has already apologized for what happened.

Poe also said she is still thankful to Dy and Albano even though they are endorsing her rivals. Albano is supporting the candidacy of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

"Ayaw ko sya malagay sa alanganin, 'yun ang totoo dun, na para lamang 'di sumama loob ko ay malalagay sya sa alanganin sa kanyang naging commitment. Pero ako'y nagpapasalamat pa rin sa kanila, kay Gov Dy at kay Tonypet at sa ating mga kasama sa Isabela kasi tinutulungan nila ko bilang kaibigan," she said.

(I don't want him to be in a difficult situation, that just so I would not feel bad, he would turn back on his commitment. But I'm still thankful to them, to Gov Dy and to Tonypet and to all our friends in Isabela because they help me as a friend.)

Escudero also defended Poe from the issue, saying it is just a misunderstanding. He, however, said rivals would likely latch on the issue to portray Poe in a bad light.

"Nabalitaan ko rin 'yun. Wala naman sigurong pambabastos, hindi pagkakaunawaan na inaayos na siguro ngayon dahil malalim naman ang pinagsamahan at pagkakaibigan namin at ng pamilya Dy. Sana itong 'di pagkakaunwaaang ito ay 'di makaapekto kay Senator Grace," Escudero said.

(I also heard of that. But I think there's no shaming or disrespect. It was just a misunderstanding which is being sorted out now because we have a deep relationship with the Dy family. I hope this misunderstanding would not affect Senator Grace.)

With only 8 days left, Poe vowed to return to Isabela before election day. – with reports from Raymon Dullana & Camille Elemia/Rappler.com