SUPPORTER, DEFENDER, FINANCIER

Susan Roces goes to bat for Grace Poe

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Susan Roces: All-out for Grace Poe

SAN CARLOS CITY, Philippines—Aside from being the biggest contributor to Grace Poe’s campaign kitty, veteran movie actress Susan Roces said she is also her daughter’s biggest campaigner in the senatorial race.

“Modesty aside, size-wise and age-wise, I am her biggest campaigner,” Roces told reporters during a visit to the relatives of her late husband, Fernando Poe Jr., in this city on Monday.

Roces said she still had to get used to attacks on her daughter, particularly after the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) adopted Poe and then dropped her from its lineup.

“They don’t know the meaning of the word adoption. You don’t adopt somebody then shove her away,”she said.

Roces knows what adoption is all about. She and her husband adopted Grace, who was abandoned as a newborn at a church in Jaro, Iloilo.

“When you adopt somebody, you adopt everything [about her]. My husband and I adopted Grace and we took her in wholeheartedly. I don’t know (UNA’s) definition of adoption,”she said.

But Roces said she did not want to discuss UNA’s actions any further.

“I don’t want to make a fuss about my feelings. If I was hurt or I was happy [about UNA’s rejection of Grace], sa akin na lang ’yon (I prefer to keep that to myself). It was a political decision so let us respect that,”she said.

Roces said Grace first expressed her desire to run for public office in 2010 under the wings of her godfather former President Joseph Estrada. But Grace was advised that she was “not ripe yet for politics,”Roces said.

“Now, it’s 2013 and everybody is getting older and running after time. Why is it suitable for their sons and daughters [to run] but not my daughter?”she asked.

“Why take it against her when somebody wanted her and embraced her? Why are they mad at her? Excuse me,” she said.

Roces said she appreciates how Team PNoy has been handling the campaign. “They don’t use anybody. Whatever we do, we do voluntarily, on our own. The candidates help each other. Grace and Chiz (reelectionist Sen. Francis Escudero) help each other… President Aquino volunteered to endorse Grace and I did not have to give anything back,”she said.

Roces said she took offense at detractors who said Grace had been taking advantage of her adoptive father’s surname, Poe.

“Everybody should be proud of one’s name. That is her [family] name. Hindi niya inangkin lang (She did not claim it). Besides, [voters] can easily remember Poe. Let us be practical,”she said.—Yolanda Sotelo

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