FULL TEXT: Grace Poe's declaration of 2016 presidential bid | Inquirer News

FULL TEXT: Grace Poe’s declaration of 2016 presidential bid

/ 07:45 PM September 16, 2015
Grace Poe declares her 2016 presidential bid in the University of the Philippines Bahay ng Alumni.

Grace Poe declares her 2016 presidential bid in the University of the Philippines Bahay ng Alumni. DONNA POLICAR/BANDERA

UP Bahay ng Alumni
September 16, 2015

To my mother, my husband and my children, my friends, and everyone gathered here, I thank you for your presence today.


My fellow Filipinos . . .

When I first asked for your help, I said that I wanted to continue what my father FPJ had started.


His decision to seek the presidency was anchored on a simple principle. 11 years ago, in this very same hall, he declared that he wanted to help the poor, fight oppression, and forge a prosperous and just society.

He often told me: Gracia, poverty is not a destiny because each one’s fate is in his/her hands. But to get out of poverty, one’s own hard work is often not enough. Everyone needs a helping hand. Shouldn’t this be the measure of a responsive government and society – how it uplifts everyone and leaves no one behind?

Our country is rich–in natural resources, our people’s knowledge and skill, and our heroism.

This is where Asia’s first republic was founded. This is the country of Rizal and Bonifacio.

Before women were given a voice, Gabriela Silang was already rallying an uprising.

We have an amazing history from which we can draw inspiration.

We have overcome many hurdles. We’ve been hit many times over by disaster – the strongest typhoons – that seem bent on removing us from the map. And yet, here we are, still standing.


This is why my admiration for our country and our people is ever constant.

How can one not be amazed by the daily triumph over struggles of our countrymen?

By ordinary Filipinos who are awake even before the rooster announces the morning, lugging bags on the way to school or guiding carabaos across the ricefields. By those those jostling for space in the MRT or running to catch a bus or jeep to work before traffic builds up on EDSA or Fuente Osmena Boulevard in Cebu.

By those who can’t get home ‘til late: BPO agents working graveyard shifts, public transport drivers plying the city’s roads, and fishermen out at sea.

By parents who have to be away from their children: those who endure the desert’s heat, the perils of the sea, and the pain of loneliness, just to give their children a bright future.

By workers with callused hands and hunched backs from working non-stop.

By ordinary government workers: teachers who traverse mountains to reach eager students; nurses who continue to give care despite their own exhaustion, policemen and soldiers who risk their lives to ensure our safety and security.

I draw inspiration from each and every one of you. You give me the strength to pursue a higher calling for our country.

We should push for true reforms that will achieve inclusive growth, global competitiveness and transparent government. Any progress we achieve as a country should be progress for each one of us, without exception. Any preferential bias should be for the poor and vulnerable.

Tonight, I would like to make known to everyone that it I’ve made it my dream and my purpose to attain, with your help, the following:

1. In education, we must attend to the needs of our classrooms. We should maximize digital technology for education, and eliminate backlogs. We shall strive to expand our scholarship programs and strengthen the “Study now, pay later” program. We will also help college students find internships and jobs to gain invaluable experience even before they graduate.

2. We shall work for the flourishing of the agricultural sector. We will heed their longing for land to till. Irrigation is still badly needed in half a million hectares of land. We will push for mechanization. We need an effective program to make fishing, farming and livestock propagation profitable for our farmers and the youth.

3. We will make infrastructure development our priority, whether in terms of streets, trains, airports, seaports or the internet. I will strive to increase the annual infrastructure budget to 7% of the GDP. The government will support the private sector in formulating an industrialization and IT plan. As more products “Made in the Philippines” flourish, more jobs will be created. This should be done while taking care of our environment.

4. No one man or group holds a monopoly on “Tuwid na Daan”. President Aquino has done much to curb corruption and I am thankful that it has restored the people’s faith in an honest leader.

It is only right to continue the fight against corruption. We will hold the corrupt accountable, whether they be friend or foe. This should be the crusade of every Filipino, not just one person or party.

To strengthen transparency in government, I will push for the passage of the Freedom of Information bill at the soonest possible time.

5. We have one of the highest tax rates in the world. My aim is to lower these.

People know what their needs are and they have a right to choose how to spend their hard-earned money. But if government lowers taxes, we should reciprocate by paying the right taxes. And this I guarantee: Every peso you pay will be returned to you in fast and quality service.

6. We need to examine if we are giving our workers and government employees fair wages and benefits. Their work and service will suffer while their own families starve. Every worker needs a decent and legal source of income.

7. A large percentage of a family’s earnings goes to paying for electricity. We need to find a way to lower power costs. In many parts of Mindanao, brownouts are a frequent occurence. We will ensure sufficient power to fuel a growing economy, especially in Mindanao. We shall see to the development of renewable energy.

8. We will value our OFWs and take care of them. We will provide them with proper legal support overseas and reduce the fees and red tape that they currently put up with just to have their papers processed.

9. As a mother, I am deeply troubled by the proliferation of crime and drugs. Like every parent, I cannot rest easy until my children are home safe at night. For me, the elimination of drugs and crime is not just a job. It is my personal crusade. I will make sure the police have the required discipline and skills to immediately deal with crime. Their job is not just to log crimes, but to catch the criminals.

10. We will pursue peace with all groups. Filipinos should need no longer kill fellow Filipinos. With peace, real progress can touch all corners of the country.

To our Moro brothers, your culture and heroism were the inspiration for many of my father’s films. After a long and hard history, it is time that you are given equal opportunities and genuine assistance.

11. We should respect human rights. We will not be blind to the conditions of our vulnerable sectors, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, urban poor, women, youth and children, the LGBT sector and senior citizens. To all senior citizens, you will not be ignored. My own mother has asserted that the older one gets, the more he/she should feel government’s care.

12. Everyone’s health is important. No family should be driven to bankruptcy by illness or be made to choose between food or medicine for their sick loved ones. Our people should be able to rely on expanded health benefits through Philhealth. I will ensure that each community has a proper hospital, staffed with enough doctors, nurses and midwives, and with all the necessary equipment, medicine and supplies.

13. The West Philippine Sea is ours. We will protect our right through peaceful means, and according to international law. We will beef up our Coast Guard and armed forces so that we need not be intimidated by other countries.

14. The traffic situation takes away not just our precious time, it tests our patience. It eats up valuable time that we would otherwise have spent at work or with our loved ones.

15. We should do the following: We should build more roads and trains not only in Metro Manila but all over the Philippines. We should ensure that our train project is awarded to a contractor with strong capability and track record in long-term maintenance. We should clean our drainage systems. We should provide coats and boots for the people who manage our traffic. We should remove all colorum and illegally parked vehicles. We should implement staggered office hours. No roadwork should be left unfinished. We should immediately fire contractors who don’t stick to the approved timetable.

16. The internet is just like a highway. It is a conduit for information. It should be fast. Many jobs will become more productive with faster internet connection. Kids will finish their homework faster and we can more easily talk to our loved ones working overseas without any Skype delays. When it comes to the internet, connecting should not take Forever.

17. Arts, culture and sports deserve the government’s attention. We are recognized internationally as a creative race of visual artists, writers and performers, but we do not value them ourselves. They bring us honor, so we should support them. Our athletes too need our support. We should never give up on our dream to win an Olympic gold medal.

18. Let us not forget the reality of climate change. This is not just a middle class issue; the poor will be hardest hit by its effects. We should have a separate Emergency Management Department that will focus on national preparedness, climate change and geo-mapping.

19. Tourism is another sector that needs our attention. A vibrant tourism industry will create new jobs for Filipinos, even those in far-flung areas. Our country is filled with beautiful tourist destinations, but the industry will never fully succeed if we don’t provide sufficient infrastructure and build more airports.

20. Children are the nation’s treasure. They are our present and future. And yet, they do not stand a chance if they do not receive proper nutrition. Many children continue to starve and waste away. It is time to create a Standard Lunch Program in all public schools.

There isn’t enough time to enumerate each and every one of my hopes and goals. In the next few days, I will release a comprehensive program centered on a simple principle and belief: that no Filipino and no region should be left behind. We will rise and progress together as one nation.

When my father ran for the presidency, he was ridiculed; his inexperience was scoffed at and his citizenship questioned. Yet he bravely faced the challenge and the opportunity to help change the lives of his fellow Filipinos for the better.

His integrity, courage and goodness have become both my guide and inspiration. My mother also gave me sound advice. She said, “My child, amidst the loud noise of politics, never ever lose yourself.”

My life is an open book.

Who would’ve thought that a foundling would ever become senator? I thank you for giving me that opportunity.

Don’t ever forget that Filipinos are a very able race. We are loving, creative and resourceful.

We can achieve whatever we want for this nation if we work hard, be vigilant, and make sure we have an honest person to guide us through our journey.

We should stick together, because one person cannot bring about this change.

Anyone who promises he alone can do it is already lying.

The story of our future lies in all our hands.

I hope you will join me in crafting a bright and meaningful future for our motherland, the Philippines.

I am Grace Poe. A Filipino. A daughter, wife and mother. And with God’s grace, I offer myself for the country’s highest calling as your President.

SENATOR GRACE POE’s SPEECH (Filipino version)
UP Bahay ng Alumni
September 16, 2015

Sa aking ina, sa aking asawa at mga anak, mga kaibigan, sa lahat ng naririto ngayon maraming salamat po sa pagdalo ninyo ngayong araw.

Mga Kababayan

Nung una akong kumatok sa inyong mga puso, ang sabi ko: Gusto kong ipagpatuloy ang mga simulain ni FPJ.

Simple lang ang prinsipyo ng aking ama na siya ring naging dahilan ng kanyang pagtakbo… sinabi niya mismo sa bulwagang ito mahigit 11-taon ang nakalipas: Importante sa isang leader ang katalinuhan pero mas mahalaga ang may tapat na pusong manilbihan upang tulungan ang mahihirap, labanan ang pang-aabuso, at pumanday ng isang lipunang masagana at makatarungan.

Madalas n’yang sabihin sa akin: Gracia, Ang kahirapan ay hindi iginuhit sa palad dahil nasa kamay ng tao ang pag-unlad. Pero sa kanyang pag-ahon, hindi sapat ang kanyang sariling kayod, kailangang may kamay na humihila sa kanya. Di ba’t yan naman ang sukatan ng magandang pamahalaan at lipunan – Lahat ay aangat, walang maiiwan!

Mayaman po ang ating bansa – sa likas-yaman, dunong ng mamamayan at kabayanihan.

Dito itinatag ang unang Republika sa Asya. Ito ang bayan ni Rizal, at Bonifacio.

Bago nabigyan ng boses ang mga kababaihan, nag-aklas na si Gabriela Silang.

May nakabibilib tayong nakaraan napinaghuhugutan.

Maraming unos ang dumaan sa atin.

Ilang ulit tayong tinamaan ng kalamidad – pinakamalakas na bagyo – na parang binubura ang bayang ito sa mapa, pero nakatayo pa rin tayo.

Kaya ganun na lang ang paghanga ko sa aking kapwa-Pilipino at sa bayang ito.

At paano ka nga naman hindi hahanga sa araw-araw na pagpupunyagi ng mga kababayan natin?

Silang mga ordinaryong Pilipino na gising na bago pa tumilaok ang manok: hila ang bag papunta sa eskwela o ang kalabaw papuntang sakahan. Nakikipagsiksikan sa MRT o hinahabol ang bus o jeep, bago pa sumikip ang EDSA o sa Fuente Osmena Blvd sa Cebu.

Silang mga ginagabi ang uwi: mga naglalamay sa BPO, mga namamasada sa lungsod, at nangingisda sa laot.

Silang mga magulang o anak na minsan lang nakakapiling ang mga anak, silang tinitiis ang init ng disyerto, ang panganib sa dagat, ang hapdi ng lungkot – mabigyan lang ng magandang bukas ang kanilang pamilya.

Silang mga manggagawa na kinalyo na ang kamay, kinuba na ang katawan, sa walang tigil na pagbabanat ng buto.

Silang mga ordinaryong kawani ng gobyerno, mga guro na ilang bundok ang inaakyat marating lang ang mga estudyanteng naghihintay sa kanila, mga nars na patuloy na naglilingkod kahit na pagod sa haba ng shift, mga sundalo at pulis na itinataya ang buhay matiyak lang ang kaligtasan at seguridad natin.

Kayong lahat ang pinaghuhugutan ko ng inspirasyon. Kayo ang nagbibigay sa akin ng lakas na i-alay ang aking sarili sa mas mataas na paninilbihan sa bansa. Naniniwala ako na sa pag-unlad o pagyaman, sabay-sabay dapat! At kung may uunahin man, dapat ang mahihirap at mas nangangailangan.

Isulong natin ang mga adhikain at programa na tunay na inklusibong pag-unlad o inclusive growth, kakayahang makipagtagisan sa larangang pandaigdigan o global competitiveness, at bukas na pamahaalaan o transparent gov’t.

At ito po ang mga nais kong ipabatid ngayong gabi sa inyo. Layunin at mithiin ko,sa tulong ng bawat isa… sama-sama… ang mga sumusunod:

1) Sa edukasyon, ayusin ang lahat ng silid-aralan, mag-“digital” na tayo at tapusin ang lahat ng kakulangan o backlog. Sisikapin natin na palawakin ang ating scholarship program at pagtibayin ang “study now pay later program”. Tulungan din nating makapag-internship at trabaho ang mga college students para habang nag-aaral may kita na sila at kapag nagtapos, ay may experience na.

2) Payayabungin natin ang sektor ng agrikultura. Tutugunan natin ang hinaing nila sa lupa. Ang irigasyon ay kailangan pa sa kalahating milyong ektarya. Ilarga natin ang mekanisasyon. Kailangan ng epektibong programa para lumaki naman ang kita sa pangingisda, pagtatanim at paghahayupan.

3) Gagawin nating prayoridad ang pag-aayos ng ating mga imprastruktura – kalye, tren, airport, seaport o internet man. ‘Di ito dapat kasing bagal ng sasakyan sa EDSA. Sisikapin kong pa-angatin ang taunang budget para sa imprastruktura nang 7% ng GDP. Kung ‘di kaya ng pribadong sektor, isusulong ko ang isang government-supported industrialization at IT plan para makalikha ng industriya. Pag dumami ang “Made in the Philippines,” dadami din ang trabaho dito. Ito ay dapat gawin habang pinangangalagaan ang kalikasan.

4) Walang iisang tao o grupo na may monopolya sa tuwid na daan. Malaki at malayo na ang nagawa ni Pangulong Aquino kaugnay sa pagpapanagot sa mga tiwali, at ako’y personal na nagpapasalamat sa kanya dahil nanumbalik muli ang kumpyansa natin sa isang lider na tapat. Dapat lang na ituloy at pa-igtingin ang pagsugpo sa korapsyon. Papanagutin ko ang tiwali, kaibigan man o kaaway, subalit ‘di lamang isang tao o partido ang dapat nagsusulong nito, kundi ang bawat isang Pilipino. Para higit na palakasin ang transparency sa gobyerno, isasabatas natin ang FOI sa lalong madaling panahon.

5) Isa na tayo sa may pinaka-mataas na buwis sa buong mundo. Sisikapin ko na mapababa ito. Mas alam ng tao kung ano ang kailangan nila at may karapatan din silang piliin kung saan gagastusin ang kanilang pinaghirapan. Subalit kungibababa ang buwis, kailangang suklian natin ng tamang pagbabayad nito. Ito naman ang igagarantya ko: Lahat ng buwis na inyong ibabayad, maibabalik sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng agaran at dekalidad na serbisyo.

6) Dapat pag-tuunan natin ng pansin kungsapat pa ba ang sweldo at benepisyo ng bawat manggagawa at lingkod-bayan. Mahirap magtrabaho at manilbihan habang nagugutom ang iyong pamilya. Dapat lang na bigyan sila ng marangal at legal na pagkaka-kitaan.

7) Malaking porsyento ng budget ng bawat pamilya ay napupunta sa pambayad sa kuryente. Hahanap po tayo ng paraan para pababain ang presyo ng kuryente.Sa maraming parte ng Mindanao madalas ang brownout. Sisiguraduhin po natin na magiging sapat ang kuryente para sa lumalagong ekonomiya, lalo na sa Mindanao. Pauunlarin natin ang renewable energy.

8) Aalagaan natin at pahahalagahan ang ating mga OFW. Bigyan ng maayos na legal na suporta sa ibang bansa at bawasan ang mga fees at red tape para lamang maayos nila ang kanilang mga papeles.

9) Bilang isang Nanay, nababahala ako sa tindi ng krimen at droga. Katulad nang lahat ng nanay, hindi ako makatulog sa gabi hangga’t hindi nakakauwi ang aking mga anak. Kaya para sa akin, ang pagdurog sa krimen at droga ay hindi lang trabaho. Ito ay personal na krusada. Sisiguraduhin na ang mga pulis ay may disiplina at kakayahan para isang tawag lang ay nandyan na at hindi lang isusulat ang krimen kundi huhulihin ang kriminal.

10) Patuloy nating isusulong ang usaping pangkapayapaan sa lahat ng lumalaban sa gobyerno. Dapat nang tigilan ang pagpatay ng Pilipino sa kapwa nya Pilipino upang maparating natin ang tunay na kaunlaran sa bawat sulok ng bansa. Sa mga kapatid nating Moro, naging inspirasyon kayo sa maraming pelikula ng tatay ko, ang inyong kultura at kagitingan. Sa hinaba-haba ng kasaysayan natin, panahon na para mabigyan kayo ng patas na pagkakataon at tunay na tulong.

11) I-respeto natin ang karapatang pantao ng lahat. Hindi tayo magiging bulag sakalagayan ng lahat ng vulnerable sectors, kasama na ang may kapansanan, mga indigenous peoples, mga maralitang taga-lungsod, mga kababaihan, kabataan at mga bata, mga LGBT at mga senior citizens. Sa mga senior citizens, hindi kayo malilimutan. Ang nanay ko mismo ay dumadaing na habang nagkaka-edad dapat mas maramdaman ang pagkalinga ng gobyerno.

12) Kalusugan ng bawat isa ay mahalaga, dapat hindi mabangkarote ang pamilya o mamili kung kakain ba o ibibili ng gamot para sa kanilang may sakit na mahal sa buhay. Dapat may pinalaking benepisyo ang PhilHealth na masasandalan. Sisiguraduhin ko na ang bawat komunidad ay may maayos na ospital, may sapat na doctor, nars, midwife, gamot at kagamitan.

13) Atin ang West Philippine Sea at dapat lang na ‘wag natin itong bitiwan o pabayaan gamit ang mapayapang paraan at ayon sa batas. Alinsunod dito, palalakasin natin ang ating Coast Guard at Sandatahang Lakas para hindi tayo kinakaya-kaya ng ibang bansa.

14) OA na ang trapik! Sa airport man o sa kalsada, inuubos nito hindi lamang ang oras natin, kundi pati ang pasensya. Inaagaw nito ang panahon na sana ay para sa trabaho o makapiling natin ang ating pamilya’t mahal sa buhay.

15) Dapat gawin ang mga sumusunod at marami pang iba: Dagdag na kalsada at tren hindi lamang sa Metro Manila kundi sa buong parte ng Pilipinas. Siguraduhin na ang batayan ng pagpili ng contractor na magtatayo ng tren ay may tunay na kakayahan at track record para masiguro ang pangmatagalan na maintenance at warranty; malinis na drainage systems; kapote at bota para sa nagpapatupad ng batas-trapiko; pagtanggal sa lahat ng colorum at illegal parking sa kalsada; at pagpapa-tupad ng staggered office hours. At kung may binubungkal man sa kalye, dapat ay huwag iwanang nakatiwangwang. Tanggalin ang mga contractor nanagbabagal-bagalan.

16) Ang internet ay para ring highway. Daluyan ng impormasyon. Dapat mabilis ito.Maraming trabaho ang mas magiging produktibo pag mabilis ang internet. Mas mabilis na matatapos ng mga bata ang homework nila at mas madali nating makakausap ang ating mahal sa buhay na OFW na walang skype delay. Sa internet ayaw natin ng Forever bago maka-konekta.

17) Sa larangan ng sining at palakasan, dapat malaki din ang suporta ng ating pamahalaan. Kilala tayong malikhain nakultura, mga visual artists, writers, performers at iba pa. Ngunit hindi natin binibigyan ng tamang halaga at tulong ang sektor na ito. Kahit na binibigyan nila tayo ng karangalan, ano ang ating isinusukli? Sa palakasan naman, ang ating mga atleta ay kawawa din. Siguro naman hindi natin dapat isuko ang pangarap na magkaroon tayo ng ginto sa Olympics.

18) Huwag natin kalimutan na realidad ang climate change. Hindi ito issue ng mayaman lang. Ang mga mahihirap ang unang tinatamaan nito. Sila ang unang binabaha at nawawalan ng tirahan. Dapat ay magkaroon na tayo ng hiwalay na Emergency Management Dept. na tututok sa national preparedness Climate change at Geo Mapping.

19) Ang turismo ay isang sector din na dapat tutukan. Kung malago ang turismo, mas makakalikha ito ng dagdag na pagkakakitaan para sa ating mga kababayan kahit sa mga liblib na lugar. Likas na maganda ang tanawin dito sa ating bansa, pero ang turismo ay di sisigla kung hindi natin aayusin ang imprastruktura at dadagdagan ang ating mga paliparan.

20) Yaman ng ating bansa ang ating mga anak. Sila ang kasalukuyan at kinabukasan natin. Pero wala silang laban kung hindi man lang sila napapakain ng tama. Marami pa rin ang nagugutom sa ating bayan. Napapanahon na magkaroon ng Standard Lunch Program sa lahat ng pampublikong paaralan.

Kulang po ang aking panahon ngayon upang ilahad ang kabuuan ng aking mga mithiin at adhikain. Sa mga susunod na araw, ihahain ko po ang isang komprehensibong programa na naka-sentro sa simpleng prinsipyo at paniniwala: walang maiiwang Pilipino at walang maiiwang lugar sa Pilipinas. Sabay-sabay tayong aangat at sama-sama tayong uunlad!

Noong tumakbo ang tatay ko, minaliit sya at sinabi na wala syang karanasan at hindi sya Pilipino. Ngunit buong tapang nyang hinarap ang hamon at di nya inurungan ang pagkakataon na tumulong na mapabuti ang buhay ng kapwa-Pilipino.

Ang kanyang katapatan, tapang at kabaitan ay naging inspirasyon at gabay sa akin. Ang nanay ko naman,sinabi nya: “Anak, sa lahat ng ingay ng pulitika, huwag mo walain ang iyong sarili.”

Ang aking buhay ay isang bukas na aklat.

Sino ang mag-aakala na ang isang sanggol na natagpuan ay makatutuntong sa Senado. Salamat sa pagkakataon na ibinigay ninyo sa akin.

Huwag nyong kalilimutan. Magaling ang Pilipino. Mapagmahal, malikhain at marunong gumawa ng paraan.

Kaya nating marating ang ating mga mithiin para sa bayan kung magsisipag, magmamatyag at siguraduhin na may tapat na gagabay sa atin.

Dapat sama-sama tayo. Hindi kaya ng iisang tao.

Ang mangangako niyan ay nagsisinungaling na.

Sa ating lahat nakasalalay ang magiging kwento ng Pilipinas sa darating na panahon.

Sana po ay samahan ninyo ako sa pagpanday ng maganda at makabuluhang hinaharap ng ating inang bayang Pilipinas

Ako po si Grace Poe. Pilipino. Anak, asawa at ina, at sa tulong ng Mahal na Diyos ay inaalay ko sa inyong lahat ang aking sarili sa mas mataas na paninilbihan bilang inyong Pangulo.

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