Grace Poe as her father’s daughterBy Totel V. de Jesus
MANILA, Philippines—Team PNoy senatorial candidate Grace Poe admits that her chance of winning in the May 13 elections will be slim if she is not the daughter of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., or FPJ.
“Hindi siguro, hindi naman talaga, di ba? (No, I don’t think I’ll win, right?),” she said during a recent visit at the Philippine Daily Inquirer office.
She admits that she is taking advantage of the name recall that her late father’s surname offers.
“This is politics, you have to do what you have in order to win, but don’t’ compromise your principles and what you believe in,” she rationalizes.
Poe says that although politics can be dirty, it offers one like her a big chance for greatness “because you can actually help more people.”
Still on her father, she says she is proud of his legacy of service to the people. “He may have had no formal government position but int terms of service or helping other people, he was doing it in his personal capacity.”
FPJ, she says, helped people who approached him for their educational needs, medicine and even “patubig” (water supply service).
“All of those, my dad did. Tumutulong talaga (He was indeed helping),” she says.
She promises that if elected, she will revive the regular feeding program in public elementary schools that was initiated during the Marcos administration.
“Remember the Nutriban and frozen milk? Remember the camote tops that teachers would boil and sweetened for a drink?”
She intends to focus on agriculture as a senator, citing a case in Isabela province where farmers’ transportation expenses were partially subsidized by the local government. She calls it Pantawid Pamasahe Program.
She also clarified why she chose Team PNoy over the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), which initially adopted her because her father was a close friend of ex-President Joseph Estrada but which later dropped her.
“With Team PNoy, I was recognized for my accomplishments,” she said. Poe was appointed by President Aquino as chairman of the Movie Television Ratings and Classification Board and resigned after she announced her candidacy.