"Senator Poe started from being a political nobody."
Even as the campaign season for the May 2022 elections is still months away, Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares is already campaigning for president. This is obvious from the many advertisements about her which I have seen on prime time television lately.
Grace Poe was a political nobody when her adoptive father, local box office king Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), ran for president but lost in 2004. Sensing that many Filipinos believe that FPJ was cheated and that they sympathized with him, Grace Poe knew that she can exploit the public’s sympathy if she runs for public office.
After a lackluster stint as President Noynoy Aquino’s cinema and television censors chief from 2010 to 2013 (Imagine her gall to decide what people can watch and can’t watch), Grace Poe decided to make full use of that public sympathy in the 2013 senatorial derby.
Poe’s landing in first place in the 2013 senatorial race not only vindicated her father’s incredible loss years earlier; it made her believe that she is too popular to lose if she were to run for president in 2016. She was so confident of herself that she even turned down the offer of Aquino’s Liberal Party for her to run as the party’s vice presidential bet. The LP eventually settled for the equally incompetent and just as egotistical Leni Robredo.
Thus, Grace Poe ran for President in 2016, pitching the superficial idea that the Philippines is like a household that needs a mother like her to run it. Fortunately, Poe lost to then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
As a senator, Poe did not oppose the corruption in Noynoy’s administration. On one occasion, Poe tacitly admitted not knowing what to do if a war between the Philippines and China ever breaks out over the West Philippine Sea controversy.
Poe’s citizenship is also an issue, because a candidate for president or senator must be a natural-born citizen. Being an orphan adopted by FPJ and actress Susan Roces, and considering that her biological lineage is untraceable, it is impossible for Poe to satisfy the definition of a natural-born citizen found in the 1935 Constitution, the charter in force when Grace Poe was likely born.
Politicians in the electoral tribunals eventually allowed Poe to run. After all, politicians decide issues on the basis of political considerations, and not on what the Constitution and the law mean.
Experts in Constitutional Law believe that if the issue about Poe’s citizenship had been resolved by the judiciary and not by the electoral tribunals, Poe would have been disqualified from running for both the Senate and for President on the ground that she is not a natural-born citizen.
Last year, Poe publicly favored the renewal of the legislative franchise of the ABS-CBN broadcasting network. It didn’t matter to Poe that her support for ABS-CBN was a conflict of interest in view of her family’s lucrative business ties with ABS-CBN, and that her family stands to lose its revenues from ABS-CBN if the network’s franchise is not renewed. Poe obviously has no delicadeza.
Poe also knows that by siding with ABS-CBN, the network may be kind enough to give her favorable political publicity during the campaign season. That’s crass opportunism plain and simple.
When the first “community pantry” in the country came out in Quezon City last April, Poe ignored it. Later, upon seeing a chance to hit President Duterte, Poe joined Senator Panfilo Lacson in using the pantry against the administration. The duo’s ridiculous non-sequitur accusation, was that the community pantry shows that President Duterte miserably failed to address the economic woes of the people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two weeks thereafter, when the community pantry project in Quezon City spurned duplicate roadside pantries elsewhere in the metropolis and got positive reviews in the media, Poe joined the bandwagon by publicly praising Ana Patricia Non, the organizer of the original community pantry.
To get further free publicity for herself, Poe sponsored a resolution in the Senate recognizing Non’s pioneering work. From the way Poe spoke about the project, she sounded as if it was her idea all along. Ang kapal talaga!
Going back to Poe’s advertisements seen on television lately, one can easily see that the materials are part of Poe’s early campaign for the presidency. The advertisements highlight Poe’s alleged achievements as a senator, but conceal Poe’s incompetence as a national leader. I mean, if Poe doesn’t know how to deal with China, she wouldn’t know how to deal with the COVID-19 menace, either.
True to Poe’s exploitative nature, her TV advertisements close with an image of her late adoptive father’s name in big letters. Obviously, Poe’s only claim to high public office is the surname that isn’t really hers in the first place.