Pix-Grace Poe+Lennie Robredo

Congresswoman Lennie Robredo, widow of revered civil servant Jesse Robredo, stirred up a huge storm today, Sept 14, especially at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, with her controversial statements, branding Senator Grace Poe as unfit to become the next president or vice president of the Philippines.

Please see this link for more details of her controversial statements – – –

I’m unsure yet whether to vote for Poe or Mar Roxas or Rodrigo Duterte — if and when he joins the presidential race which I expect him to do sooner than later.

But I find Robredo’s decision to pass judgment on Grace Poe UTTERLY DISGUSTING, IRRESPONSIBLE, TACTLESS AND DISGRACEFUL!!

First, she admitted not knowing Poe enough. So, how on earth can she pass sweeping and scathing judgment of Poe’s frame of mind and level of patriotism? Do not judge a book by its cover is one apt saying that applies in this case.

At first glance, assuming a country of residence’s citizenship looks unpatriotic. But if you put yourself in her shoes and your father is robbed of the presidency or other senior public office and failed to get what is due him by our country’s democratic institutions, won’t you be disillusioned with your own country and its leaders? And if you have young children studying in the US and if there is no 100 percent assurance that your 10-year Green Card will be renewed every time you apply for renewal, won’t you go for a US citizenship?

In spite of these mitigating factors, yes, Poe can be criticized for once renouncing her Filipino citizenship in order to assume American citizenship.

Based on what she did, Robredo questioned her fitness to become president or even vice president. Scores of netizens have accused her of lacking “delicadeza” or sense of decency and being an opportunist.

But what really are the more substantive and more meaningful measurements of patriotism, sense of decency and opportunism?

Should these be confined only in one big moment’s frustration and disillusionment with the questionable state of democratic institutions in our country, just like what presumably happened to Poe?

And how about Vice President Jojo Binay who is accused of a wide array of corruption? And how about numerous congressmen and senators who had a field day pocketing tens and even hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money in PDAF scams and other misspending? And how about governors and mayors who engage in all sort of practices to amass illicit personal wealth?

Are they more patriotic than Poe? Do they have a higher level of decency than Poe? Are they less opportunistic than Poe?

Does Robredo regard many of her Congress colleagues as more patriotic and decent than Poe — if those colleagues are hounded by allegations of corruption but they pretend to be whiter than white?

If Robredo finds fault big time in Poe, why can’t see the dirt on the face of many of her colleagues in Congress whom she sees and mingles with almost daily? This is plain hypocrisy and political naivete on the part of Robredo.

And as for Poe’s public service record, a quick online research will indicate that she has done reasonably well even if she’s new at the Senate. I won’t even be mistaken if the bills that she authored or co-authored and eventually adopted into laws, like Sustanya sa Batang Pilipino Act, and her competent handling of Senate committees that she chaired, even surpassed the record of President Benigno Aquino.

Aquino had a very quiet stint as a congressman and senator, and yet he has turned out to be the most reform-minded and cleanest president that the country has ever had.

Other aspirants for the presidency — Binay, Roxas and most likely, Duterte — have their respective share of major weaknesses and failings.

So, it’s a major mistake for Lennie Robredo to pick on Grace Poe — while excluding others from her uncalled for tirades.



  1. Cong Leni was asked about Poe’s fitness to become president in light of the citizenship issue. That was the question and she answered it accordingly. I agree with you that there are “pure”filipino politicians who are less filipino than others because they steal, cheat or even sleep in their duties as public servants. And that they should be condemned not just by Leni but by everyone, as well. But that was not the question posed to her.

    One may justify ones leaving ones country due to disillusionment of the state’s institutions, poverty, or even better opportunity abroad. But if one were to lead a country, it puts into question ones loyalty and integrity when at one point, one has pledged allegiance to another. And the reason for which was because of convenience (green card, kids studying in the US, etc). I don’t believe that one of Poe’s reasons for becoming a US citizen was his disillusionment because his father was cheated in the elections. She became a US citizen way before that. She returned and renounced her US citizen in 2004, after FPJ died. In other words, she became an American out of convenience, and reverted back to being Filipino out of necessity (her father’s untimely passing). At least on that point, give credit to Leni for pointing that out. That may be of minor issue to some, but for others, it has far reaching implications when one is to decide on matters that may affect relationships between her own country and her erstwhile home country.

    Also, we’ve had leaders and citizens who had the chance to become US citizens or dual citizens during the dark days of the dictatorship. Back when some of them were being harassed and persecuted. They had justifiable reasons then but they stuck to being Filipino Citizens. Hindi nila tinalikuran ang bayan. The Lopezes, Osmenas, Roxas, and the Aquinos, among others. So when you say that Poe changed her citizenship due to the reasons that you cited, I feel it to be a shallow reason if it were to be compared to those people whom i mentioned who had every reason to be a citizen of another country but chose not to. And if only for that, Poe’s loyalty and integrity as a patriot, is questionable.

    But then again, Binay could have become a US citizen too during those times but he chose not to, as well. Sayang.

    Peace to you, sir.

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