Sheryl Cruz’s tell-all on her cousin Grace Poe aborted
She’d rather not undergo any DNA testing to help determine the parentage and, subsequently, the citizenship of her first cousin, Sen. Grace Poe, TV-movie star Sheryl Cruz said on Tuesday.
Cruz showed up late for her supposed tell-all interview about her cousin at the Manila Hotel press conference of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) biopic on its founder, Felix Manalo, with organizers of the event denying knowledge of the interview.
Cruz held a separate, brief interview at the Manila Hotel’s café.
Leigh Legaspi, Viva Films’ vice president for theatrical sales and marketing, told reporters that Cruz had been disinvited to the affair and asked that the event be spared from any controversy.
“She was advised not to attend the event anymore and not to make any interview in the vicinity of the hotel about any other topic including politics,” Legaspi said, adding that Cruz had been initially invited to the grand launch of the movie because she played “a cameo role” as one of the more than 100 performers in the movie.
It was not clear if Cruz was escorted by security out of the press con venue on the request of the movie producers, only that she was clearly unwelcome at the event.
Cruz said she was speaking up to clear the name of her mother, former actress Rosemarie Sonora, who was rumored to be the real mother of Poe, with ousted authoritarian President Ferdinand Marcos as her real father.
“(People) can (have) all these different versions of what they think happened between my mom and Marcos but I know that it is not true. (So) I am sorry, I am not willing to (undergo) a DNA test. Please spare my family from this; they are so affected by it,” Cruz said.
“Ayoko nang madamay ang nanay ko (I don’t want to drag my mother into this). She wants to keep the peace in the family. I don’t want it to appear that my mom had an affair with another man not my dad,” Cruz added.
Poe, a foundling, was adopted by movie couple Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces (aka Jesusa Sonora), Rosemarie Sonora’s elder sister. Poe was reportedly found in an Iloilo church, with her umbilical cord still intact.
The presidential candidate, who renounced and later reacquired her Filipino citizenship after taking on American citizenship, is the subject of a case filed at the Senate Electoral Tribunal, questioning her citizenship and her qualification to hold public office.
A bit abrupt
Only natural-born Filipino citizens can run for election, and the case sought to prove that Poe, whose parents—and their citizenship—are unknown, might not be one.
Cruz, the daughter of 1960s stars Sonora and Ricky Belmonte had campaigned for Poe when she ran for senator in the 2013 elections, but said she was opposed to her cousin running for higher office in 2016.
“It’s a bit abrupt for her to run in 2016, and popularity cannot be translated into capability,” Cruz said in Tuesday’s interview. “She’ll make a fine president come 2022.”
Cruz said her being outspoken on Poe’s candidacy could threaten her movie career. Already, her manager had been forced to resign, she said.
“I am now without a manager and I can’t understand why I’m suddenly without a representative in my career,” said the 1980s star.
Cruz said she did not want to “belittle” her cousin’s capabilities, but neither did she want “to leave the country’s future to chance.”
“The lives of its citizens are not a game of chance,” she added.
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