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Grace Poe has this statement for the strategist of Isko Moreno

Senator Grace Poe defended the absence of her father the late Fernando Poe, Jr. during the presidential debates in 2004 as Lito Banayo, the political strategist of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said that this affected the election result.

Based on the report from Manila Bulletin, Banayo was asked in an interview if the disqualification case against former Senator Bongbong Marcos will somehow affect the campaign of Mayor Isko.

grace poe fernando poe jr
📷: Politiko

Banayo mentioned FPJ in his answer saying that the fact that the late actor refused to attend the presidential debates, as well as interviews in 2004, had an effect on his chance to win. At that time, incumbent president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won.

However, this was contradicted by Sen. Grace Poe. The daughter of FPJ said that votes for his father were stolen. “For a campaign strategist as seasoned as Lito, I’m surprised he would largely attribute the results of the 2004 elections to a single aspect of the campaign,” she said.

The Senator also said that Banayo apparently, forgot the “Hello, Garci” controversy and the other election-related issues back then. “I still believe that the Filipino people know their votes for FPJ were stolen. Even Sen. Lacson, Lito’s candidate then, can tell Lito that,” the lawmaker said.

Senator-Grace-Poe-1
Photo Source: AsiaOne

She also said that although she is not totally debunking the contribution of presidential debates to one’s candidacy, she believes that this is not the sole factor for winning.

While I don’t discount the merits of a debate, I also don’t believe that the 2004 debates alone influenced the majority of the public to shift their preference and support,” Senator Grace Poe said.  

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