Poe says some local leaders refuse to host her too

LAGUNA, Philippines – Reelectionist Senator Grace Poe said on Tuesday, April 30, that some local leaders have refused to host her because she's not part of the administration slate.

Poe made the statement on the sidelines of her sortie in this province, when asked in a media interview if she ever had the same experience as Otso Diretso candidates who were given the cold shoulder by local officials on the campaign trail.

"Meron. 'Yun naman ay totoo (There were cases. That's true)," she said.

She said while there were those who might have "blocked her" campaign, this did not hinder here as she could always go to public places to interact with the people.

"Meron sigurong humaharang, pero para sa 'kin hindi mahirap kahit saan ako pumunta. Alam mo kung walang sasalubong sa 'kin, didiretso lang ako ng palengke eh. O kaya didiretso ako ng terminal," Poe said.

(There may be some people blocking me, but for me, it's not very difficult, no matter where I go. You know, if there's no one to welcome me. I'll just go straight to the public market. Or I will go straight to the terminal.)

The reelectionist senator said that her campaign is focused on "visiting the people there," and not only the local officials. 

Poe said she relied on her friends and contacts to welcome her in their localities, because of their "trust" in her.

Poe was asked about the reception of local officials during the campaign after Otso Diretso campaign manager and Senator Francis Pangilinan sounded the alarm over the lack of local politicians supporting the opposition slate, attributing it to fear of retaliation from the Duterte government.

Otso Diretso bet Samira Gutoc recently brought this up as well, as opposition slate events are seldom hosted nor endorsed by local politicians. 

On Tuesday, Poe visited the towns of Biñan, Balibago, Cabuyao, and Calamba.

Earlier that day, she also went to Dasmariñas and Carmona in Cavite.

Cavite and Laguna are among the top vote-rich provinces in the country, landing in the 2nd and 4th spot with 2.15 million and 1.9 million voters respectively. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.