Poe, Escudero go to opposition bailiwick Navotas

Presidential candidate Grace Poe, along with running mate Francis "Chiz" Escudero, visited Navotas City, home to the metro's fishermen – and opposition key figure Toby Tiangco, who publicized the residency issue against her.

Did tension mount in the so-called enemy territory?

Camille Elemia reports.

CAMILLE ELEMIA, REPORTING: Presidential bet Grace Poe on Thursday takes her campaign to the opposition's territory – Navotas City.

It is the turf of Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco, a staunch supporter of her closest rival Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Poe flew straight from a campaign sortie in Samar to meet with local fishermen and fish vendors. 

Poe topped the 2013 senatorial race in Navotas.

All local officials elected that time were from UNA, but administration bet Poe won at the national level.

In 2015, Tiangco publicized the residency issue against Poe in 2015, which led to 4 disqualification cases against her.

But Poe says what Tiangco did is a thing of the past.

GRACE POE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Noong nilabas niya 'yun, hindi naman sumama loob ko; mas lumakas lang ang loob ko. Medyo may galit lang naramdaman ako pero pagkatapos naman noon, nagkita kami sa isang lugar at sabi niya sa akin, trabaho lang daw ang kanyang ginagawa. Tanggap ko 'yun

Bakit naman ako iiwas, hindi naman siya ang pinuntahan ko sa Navotas. Ang pinupuntahan ko doon ay ang mga tao doon na Pilipino rin naman, saan man sila sa Pilipinas.

(When he publicized it, I did not feel bad; I only felt more determined. I felt a little bit of anger but after that, we met at an event and he told me he’s just doing is job. I accept that.

Why will I avoid this place? I’m not going to Navotas for him. I’m going for the people there who are also Filipinos wherever they may be in the Philippines.)

She faces another issue – this time drawing flak over her comments defending Nationalist People's Coalition founder Danding Cojuangco on the issue of coco levy funds or taxes he used to buy businesses.

The NPC earlier endorsed Poe and running mate Chiz Escudero who defends her from critics tagging her as Cojuangco's puppet.

CHIZ ESCUDERO, VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hiniling ng lahat ng tumatakbo sa pagkapangulo ang suporta at endorsement ng NPC. Lahat sila no exception humarap. Secretary Roxas, Mayor Duterte, VP Binay, gayun din si Senator Grace. Tapos noong in-endorse ng NPC si Senator Grace biglang meron nang interes sa likod nya, biglang tuta na siya. Paano pag sila inendorso? Kaya din ba nila sabihin ang parehong bagay na yan?

(All presidential candidates sought the NPC's endorsement. No exception. Secretary Roxas, Mayor Duterte, Vice President Binay, also Senator Grace. Now that NPC endorsed Senator Grace, suddenly there are interests behind her, she's now a puppy. What if they were endorsed? Could they say the same thing?)

While the two clarify their stand on the decades-long issue of coco levy funds, the matter remains crucial to their campaign.

After all, they say agriculture and agrarian reform are in their core agenda.

Camille Elemia, Rappler, Navotas City

– Rappler.com