DNA tests with Guimaras ‘relatives’ negative–Poe
DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines—Sen. Grace Poe said on Friday that the DNA tests she took with her supposed relatives from Guimaras, Iloilo province, yielded negative results.
Poe, who has declared her intention to run for President in the May elections, was referring to the tests she said she had with her supposed aunt, Lorena Rodriguez-Dechavez, who approached her when the senator was in Iloilo.
Dechavez and her kin offered to have DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) tests with the senator and even allowed the exhumation of the body of Dechavez’s father to determine if they were related to Poe.
The senator told reporters accompanying her in Dagupan that “suceeding tests” with Dechavez’s family also did not produce a match.
DNA tests give information on the genealogy or personal ancestry of someone. They are taken to determine if two people are biologically related.
Poe was found in a church in Iloilo when she was still a baby. She was later adopted by the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. and actress Susan Roces.
Her being a foundling was the subject of a petition filed against her seeking to unseat her as a senator and of the disqualification cases filed against her at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The Comelec later canceled her certificate of candidacy for President because of questions hounding her on her citizenship and residency.
Poe said she has not lost hope about her case.
Rights of foundlings
“In the first place, our argument in the Supreme Court is not based on DNA,” Poe told reporters, speaking in Filipino. “Our case is based on the rights of foundlings to have a status in this country (karapatan ng mga batang napulot na magkaroon ng estado sa bansang ito),” she said.
Poe said there were at least three other individuals who had approached her “who wanted to get tested.” But she said that was not the basis of her lawyers’ argument in the Supreme Court.
Poe said in a separate interview that even if her blood linkage with her parents was not established, “the important thing is to recognize the rights of foundlings in our country.”
She described her long search for her biological parents as an “emotional roller coaster,” especially when all the results of the DNA tests that she had undertaken with different individuals did not match hers.
“It’s an emotional roller coaster. One moment you are hoping, and then another moment, you are not,” she said.
Despite this, Poe said she was more confident now that the Supreme Court would favor foundlings like her.
“I am more confident about my status at the Supreme Court because other justices see that this fight is not just about me,” she said.
Poe and Susan’s love
“To my rivals who say that my life is overdramatic, excuse me,” Poe said. “This is reality and it is a fact that the lives of most of our fellow Filipinos are dramatic, too. If mine is dramatic because I am a foundling, the lives of others are dramatic because they are poor or are not recognized by their own parents.”
“I am grateful because I was given an opportunity by two people who truly love me,” she said, apparently referring to Poe and Roces.
“Let’s not disregard the rights of every Filipino who wishes to serve our country.” With a report from Inquirer Research/TVJ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.