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Poe to Roxas: I won’t withdraw from the presidential race

MANILA, Philippines. On Friday, May 6, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II invited independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe to a meeting a few days before the national elections.

Roxas gave the surprising statement during a special conference held in Quezon City.

In his speech, Roxas said that the Philippines is facing the possibility of having an emerging leader “who cares nothing about honesty, integrity, transparency, responsibility or even just basic decency.” Roxas did not make any reference to any presidential candidate.

“I call for unity, I call for decency, I call for democracy. I call for the rule of law. I call for Senator Grace Poe. Grace Poe mag-usap tayo (let’s talk), I will adjust my schedule. Sabihin mo lang kung kailan at saan at dadating ako (Just tell me when and where and I will come). This is for unity. This is for our country. This is for our future,”  Roxas said.

Prior to the conference, rumors that Roxas was going to withdraw from the presidential race spread, according to newsgra.ph. But during the conference, Roxas didn’t reveal his future plans or the purpose of the meeting with Poe.

Meanwhile, Sen. Grace Poe has reacted to Roxas’s statement.

“Anytime pwede namang mag-usap, pero sa puntong ito, ano pa ba ang paguusapan natin?”

(We can talk anytime. But at this point, what are we going to talk about?)

Poe added: “Kung ang iniisip nila ay paguusap para may umatras sa isa sa amin, ako hindi aatras. Yung kinakausap nila ako maging bise nila, di ako sumama kasi dapat naniniwala ako sa liderato ng isang tao para suportahan. Ngayon pa kaya, nakikita ko ang pangangailangan ng bayan. Isusuko ko pa ba yan para sa isang kandidato na hindi ko pinaniniwalaan?”

(If they are thinking of having a dialogue so that one of us will back out from the race, I am not backing out. When they were asking me to become their vice president, I didn’t join them because I didn’t believe in the leadership of the person enough for me to give my support. Now that I already know the needs of the country, will I give it up for a candidate I don’t believe in?)

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