‘Economy, not citizenship, at stake’

“Senator Grace Poe’s political opponents are concerned about winning, not leading. They forget this election is about the lives of 100 million citizens, not about the citizenship of one person.”

Thus said Malabon Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel, who   on Tuesday   slammed the personalities and politicians behind the “artificial citizenship issues” of Poe, lamenting that “if these people were really concerned about the country, then they would focus on the real problems of our countrymen: high prices and jobs.”

The Malabon lawmaker referred to the citizenship issues of Poe as “artificial” as these were only brought up “now that she is the frontrunner in presidential polls,” and were never even mentioned when she ran for senator.

“My constituents in Malabon are just like everyone else in our country. They are worried about how to make ends meet with what little they make because they want more affordable goods and better-paying jobs,” explained the solon.      

“But rather than discuss these issues, the other political camps are more focused on getting the presidential frontrunner disqualified rather than figuring out how to improve the lives of our citizens,” Noel said.

A June 2015 survey conducted by Pulse Asia showed that 47 percent of Filipinos are most concerned with the country’s inflation while 46 percent are concerned with workers’ pay.

According to the survey, wages, jobs and high prices are the only issues considered urgent by majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic classes.          

Noel added that the case filed against Poe in the Senate Electoral Tribunal was part of a concerted effort to pull down the leading presidential candidate “and distract us from the real issues.”

The legislator commended Poe and her running mate Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero for “presenting a concrete platform of governance that addresses the twin issues of jobs and high prices.”

“So far, the focus of their campaign is presenting their vision for the country, and this shows they are truly in touch with the needs of our people.”

Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections  said that the agency  has no power to prevent  Poe from filing  her  Certificate of Candidacy   to run for president in the May 2016 polls despite facing a disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

In a press conference, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said Poe is free to file her COC from Oct. 12 to 16 since it is the “ministerial” duty of the poll body to accept applications of  aspirants  for public posts.

The poll chief said this does not mean that Poe will be automatically included in the list of candidates since a disqualification may still be filed against her.

The Comelec set the period for the filing of COC from October 12 to 16 for all positions to be contested in the May polls.

Two weeks ago, Poe declared her plan to run for president.

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