Ex-judge offers reward for info on Poe’s folks
BACOLOD CITY—A 76-year-old retired judge is offering a reward to anyone coming forward with solid and credible information on the identity of the biological parents of Sen. Grace Poe.
Jesus Nograles Rodriguez Jr., a former labor arbiter (with the rank of regional trial court judge) of the National Labor Relations Commission in Western Visayas, said the P300,000 reward was being put up by him and six golfing buddies and friends from Negros Occidental who were all over 70 years old.
In a news conference yesterday, Rodriguez said their goal was to find the truth and settle the controversy over Poe’s citizenship, which had given rise to several petitions seeking to her disqualification her from the presidency.
The petitioners contend that as someone of unknown parentage, Poe cannot be a natural-born Filipino as set out in the Constitution.
Poe was found as an infant in an Iloilo church. When she was five years old, she was adopted by movie star couple Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces.
Rodriguez stressed he was not a political supporter or friend of Poe, and that the only thing he wanted was for the truth to come out so the country could move forward.
“It’s a patriotic act before we go to sleep permanently,” he said.
Rodriguez gave the media copies of a prepared questionnaire for anyone with personal knowledge of the circumstances of Poe’s birth or her biological parents to fill it up. He also supplied his contact number: 0905-2850698.
“We call on anyone with credible knowledge about the senator’s true parents to please come forward, fill out a basic questionnaire, and tell us everything they know that they think is relevant to our search for Senator Poe’s parents, specifically her biological mother,” he said.
Rodriguez said he had not informed Poe of his reward offer. But a lawyer representing Poe was seen at the news conference yesterday. Kirk Andrew Magnabe of the Amego Law Office said he was asked by the Poe camp in Manila to attend the briefing to see what Rodriguez was offering.
Rodriguez explained that he initiated the reward offer because he wanted to do something for the country.
“You know I am already 76. I’m old. I want to do something good and be useful while I still can. I think the whole nation is curious to know who Senator Poe’s real parents are…We want to find out the truth and I think the truth will have a bearing on the course this nation takes,” he said.
He said they are seeking in particular those in their 60s and 70s and living in Iloilo, Bacolod or the vicinity of the Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo where Poe was found in 1968.
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