Remains of possible Grace Poe biological parents exhumed
ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The remains of three persons suspected to be the biological parents of Sen. Grace Poe have been exhumed on Guimaras Island on Wednesday to gather specimens for DNA testing.
As this developed, cash reward for information leading to biological parents of Poe has gone up to P355,000 after a ship captain and a doctor promised to give a total of P55,000 to anyone the can provide “solid” information on Poe’s parents.
This is in addition to the P300,000 reward earlier offered by retired labor judge Jesus Nograles Rodriguez Jr., who is based in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
Cemetery workers as well as family members exhumed the skeletal remains of Victoria Rodriguez and two males at the Barangay East Valencia cemetery in Buenavista town, according to a source privy to the exhumation.
Bone samples were taken before the remains were reburied.
DNA samples were also taken from nine persons (six from Rodriguez family members) and three from the family of the suspected fatheron Tuesday.
The samples will be taken to Manila within today (Wednesday) to supplement DNA samples earlier taken from three members of the Rodriguez family.
Siblings of Victoria have claimed that Poe could be the baby of Victoria who was brought to Iloilo City and eventually adopted by celebrity couple Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces.
On Monday, Maritime captain Eduardo Gargaratino and Dr. Karen Ambito-Galvan offered a total of P55,000 to anyone the can provide “solid” information on Poe’s parents.
This is on top of the P300,000 reward earlier offered by Jesus Nograles Rodriguez Jr., (no relations to the Rodriguez siblings).
“I know that the amount I am contributing is not much, but this represents my family’s earnest hope that Senator Poe finds the identity of her true parents and perhaps living blood relatives here in Iloilo or wherever they are really from,” Gargaritano, a native of Guimbal town in Iloilo, said in a statement.
Gargaritano, who is out of the country, could not be reached through his mobile phone and email.
He will shell out P25,000 while Galvan will give P30,000 for a total of P355,000 including the amount offered by Rodriguez, according to the statement.
The Commission on Elections has ordered the cancellation of Poe’s candidacy for president in next year’s elections on citizenship and residency issues.
But the Supreme Court on Monday issued a temporary restraining order stopping the enforcement of Poe’s disqualification.
READ: TROs fill Grace Poe with hope
“It’s a small amount. I really don’t what to make a big deal about it because we only want to help Senator Poe and put and end to all the questions,” Galvan told the INQUIRER in a telephone interview.
The physician from Aklan province is hoping that those with knowledge on the truth of Poe’s lineage will come out.
“Who knows? It’s been a long time already and there’s a need to find closure,” Galvan said.
Galvan said she wanted to help Poe because her father Basilio Gambito ran for the lone congressional seat of Aklan in 2004 under the ticket of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., the senator’s adoptive father.
She also ran but lost in Aklan’s gubernatorial race in the 2007 elections under the Partido ng Masang Pilipino.
In the statement, Galvan said she would suggest to Rodriguez “to open a bank account where the reward money volunteered thus far can be held in escrow until such time that a deserving informant is found.”
“We will leave it to Judge Rodriguez and his friends when and where they will open the escrow account,” she said.
Reached by phone for comment, Jose Rodriguez said he was unaware of the reward offer of Gargaritano and Galvan but welcomed other voluntary cash reward offers to help Poe identify her biological parents.
“Why not? It’s their own money and as long as its from the heart,” he told the INQUIRER, adding that opening a bank account for reward offers is a “very laudable project.”
But Rodriguez, 76, said he did want to be involved in the collection of reward offers or the opening of a bank account for that purpose.
“I’m not accepting donations because I’m not a mercenary,” he said.
No match: Poe’s DNA tests with probable kin
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