Senator Grace Poe was once the darling of the surveys. The surprise top performer in the 2013 senatorial elections also used to be the preferred candidate of those asked whom they would vote for, if elections were held the day they were asked.
The public could not help taking note of the diminutive senator, almost always clad in white with her hair pushed back in a no-nonsense ponytail. She once fell in line at the MRT North Avenue station as research for the Senate investigation into the train mess. Her photo was in sharp contrast to the press releases of Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya who boarded the train while an aide held an umbrella for him.
Poe was also praised for her handling of the hearings on the Mamasapano killings early this year, and the resulting committee report.
Even the Palace took note of the drawing power of the supposedly independent senator. President Benigno Aquino III and then Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II met with Poe numerous times to convince her to be the latter’s running mate. She was one of the few who could continue the straight and narrow path of this administration, they said.
All these were before she said no and decided to take her own path. Now, the public is told she willfully lied in her documents just so she could qualify in the race for the highest position in the land. Two separate divisions of the Comelec say she misrepresented the facts pertaining to her citizenship and her residency.
The senator is putting up a brave front saying that the cases are still up for decision by the Supreme Court. We can just imagine how rattled she and her team are by these developments. To be branded as a liar is a serious matter.
Poe’s fall from grace happened as fast as her rise to fame. Now, another candidate has overtaken her in the surveys.
Unfortunately, voters are rarely afforded the opportunity to evaluate candidates’ merits—their backgrounds and what they can potentially deliver. They fall prey early on to the ugliness of politics in this country. So much for elevating the level of discourse.