Poe answers question: Would you give way?

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Before President Benigno Aquino III said he wanted an alliance among candidates, and before administration bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas II publicly asked independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe for a dialogue, Poe already made up her mind.

In an exclusive interview, CNN Philippines Senior Anchor and Correspondent Pinky Webb asked Poe if the senator thinks any candidate, including her, would be willing to give way for any other candidate.

Poe answers: “Absolutely not. You have no more face to show if you do that.”

EXCLUSIVE: President Aquino calls for united front against Duterte

The senator took offense at reports that she accepted P20 million to withdraw from the presidential race.

“May natatanggap akong mga text na umatras na raw ako. Ito po’y nakaka-insulto. 20 million pesos raw, binayaran ako para ako’y umatras,” Poe said. “Kahit na magkano pa, hindi ako mabibili dyan.”

[Translation: I have been receiving text messages saying I backed out. This is insulting. They paid me P20 million allegedly just to withdraw. No matter how much, I won’t be bought.]

Poe said she would never throw away, and even sell what she and her family have been through.

Also read: Mar Roxas seeks talks with Grace Poe

Poe also said all candidates have invested so much in the race and it would be too late to do that at this point in the race.

And even if she does, Poe also said there’s no guarantee that her supporters would vote another preferred candidate.

“Nakakasiguro ba sila na pag umatras ako mapupunta sa kanila ang boto? Hindi naman ah.”

[Translation: Are they sure that if I withdraw they will have the vote? No, they’re not.]

Laughing, Poe said: “Nakalagay nga sa survey nung taong nagsasabing sya nalang ang katapat, 45 percent ng boto nya ang mapupunta sa akin, at 17 percent lang ng sa akin ang mapupunta sa kanya. So baka lalo pa natin itulak yung ayaw natin.”

[The survey commissioned by the person saying he could be the only chance says 45 percent of his votes will go to me, while only 17 percent of votes for me will go to him. So we might be pushing for the one we wouldn’t like to win.]

Asked if he’s referring to Roxas, Poe said, “Yeah, those are the figures in the survey.”

Poe was also asked who she thinks deserves to win the presidency aside from her, but she declined to answer, saying: “Wag nalang, kasi baka lumipat pa eh.” [I’d rather not (answer the question), (voters) might switch.]

Without naming names, Poe said if the public is satisfied with what the country already has, and with a current government she described as “medyo may pagka manhid” [seemingly numb], she said voters can go ahead and switch to the other candidate.

Also read: UNA: Aquino’s call for unity vs. Duterte is 'hollow'

First executive order

The senator has ironed out her first executive order—or orders—should she become president.

Poe said she would prioritize the enactment and implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill and “make sure that all executive offices comply with FOI.”

She would also like to convene the National Security Council and push for the standard lunch program, a project for school children she has been advocating in the Senate.

Poe also said she would fast track all infrastructure projects that could provide short term and long term effects for the country.

If she gets elected, Poe said she would appoint Cebu Rep. Joseph “Ace” Durano as executive secretary, and former Armed Forces of the Philippines Col. Ariel Querubin as her anti-crime czar.

Ready to lose the presidency?

Senator Poe said she has prepared for all the possibilities the forthcoming presidential election could bring.

“I already told myself this is what can happen… I’m remaining hopeful, but I’m prepared,” she said.

Poe said she believes that the presidency is destiny, and that she’s ready to accept the voters’ decision—even if it ends in a loss.

“I don’t mind having more time for my family, I don’t mind having more time with my friends, and serving the country in the Senate,” Poe said. “Of course I’d feel a little bit frustrated because there are more things you can do as an executive, but I’m fine.”

Poe also said she is not afraid of a Duterte presidency. Referring to a possible revolutionary government under Duterte, Poe said she is “actually worried and a little bit sad for a presidency like that.”

“Kung siga ang presidente, lahat yan magiging siga rin,” Poe said.

[If the president is a bully, then everyone will be a bully.]

For Poe, the presidential election is more than winning the highest post in the land. It is about having presented to the public what she can offer, most especially fighting for the equal rights of foundlings like her.

Also read: Analysts: Roxas should give way to Poe to beat Duterte