Grace under pressure: Poe, Chiz defy brickbat
Nationalist People’s Coalition spokesman Rex Gatchalian, also representative of Valenzuela, on Thursday lauded presidential front-runner Senator Grace Poe and her vice presidential candidate, Francis Escudero, for “elevating the level of discussion” and drawing attention to important people’s issues like tax reform despite the “low blows” leveled against them since declaring their intention to run for higher office in September.
“Pardon the pun, but their response to the unfair and personal accusations thrown against them in the past few weeks can be summed up in three words: grace under pressure.”
Gatchalian said that “rather than stoop to the level of their detractors, Grace and Chiz have chosen to stick to their platform and discuss the issues that affect the whole country.”
“By hammering on the need for inclusive growth and the importance of ensuring that no one be left behind in the country’s quest for progress, as well as their repeated appeals to lower the income tax, the Poe-Escudero tandem has called attention to the issues that matter, and have forced other candidates and other groups to consider the poor and the marginalized in their respective platforms of governance,” explained the NPC stalwart.
Gatchalian pointed out that even the vice presidential candidate of the Liberal Party, Rep. Leni Robredo, was now open to calls to reform the tax system, despite these measures being dismissed by the administration as well as LP presidential bet Mar Roxas, who said that tax breaks for fixed-income earners could only be considered if government projects were cut.
Earlier this week, Robredo echoed calls for tax reform, saying that she believed the tax system needed an “overhaul” because ordinary government employees and workers in the private sector were the ones heavily taxed.
Gatchalian also said that it was also encouraging that the President himself was now stressing the importance of inclusive growth as a platform of governance.
In a speech delivered last Tuesday, Aquino echoed calls of Poe and Escudero to ensure progress for all.
In Poe’s declaration speech in September, the senator said she would release a comprehensive program that would ensure that no Filipino and no region would be left behind and ensure that all Filipinos enjoyed the fruits of national progress.
“Sa mga susunod na araw, ihahain ko po ang isang komprehensibong programa na naka-sentro sa simpleng prinsipyo at paniniwala: walang maiiwang Pilipino at walang maiiwang lugar sa Pilipinas. Sabay-sabay tayong aangat at sama-sama tayong uunlad!”
“Senator Grace and Senator Chiz believe that this should be the tenor of the campaign, and, like them, we hope that black propaganda will take a back seat to constructive debate,” Gatchalian said.