Philippine presidential candidate Grace Poe said on Friday she will not withdraw from the election race but she was open to holding dialogue with one of her rivals, former interior minister Manuel “Mar” Roxas.
“I know Secretary Mar. He can talk to me any time. We can talk about his call for the country’s welfare. But what’s clear is I don’t withdraw from any fight,” Poe said in a radio interview.
“We have been through a lot and what we carry here are the dreams and hopes of our countrymen that should not be compromised,” she said.
Hours before Poe’s radio interview, Roxas called on her to meet with him. He warned against “the possibility of a leader (Rodrigo Duterte) coming to power who cares for nothing about honesty, integrity, transparency, responsibility or even just basic decency.”
“Uncertainty and the specter of a dictatorship are looming over our country again,” Roxas said.
Poe said she always stood for unity and decency but is not open to the idea of backing out.
Earlier, outgoing President Benigno Aquino said he was helping his chosen successor, Roxas, work with rival candidates and team up to stop frontrunner Duterte from winning Monday’s election.
He appealed to voters to persuade their presidential candidates to unite against Duterte who, he said, may be a “threat to democracy.”
Asked if he would again try to bring together Roxas and Poe, Aquino said he had already tried.
“Can I actually do it by myself? What if more voices start speaking now? And I need all of your commitment to unify us,” Aquino said.