17 September 2015

Sen. Grace Poe Offers An Alternative to Traditional Politicians

Sen. Grace Poe
The wait is finally over and nobody who is following Philippine politics was really surprise when Senator Grace Poe declared her plan to join the presidential race in the 2016 elections.

"Ako po si Grace Poe. Pilipino. Anak, asawa at ina, at sa tulong ng Mahal na Diyos ay inaalay ko sa inyong lahat ang aking sarili sa mas mataas na paninilbihan bilang inyong Pangulo," Poe declared before hundreds of supporters at the University of the Philippines (UP) Bahay ng Alumni Wednesday evening.

"Sana po ay samahan ninyo ako sa pagpapanday ng maganda at makabuluhang hinaharap ng ating inang bayang Pilipinas," said Poe, who was accompanied by her family including her mother, veteran actress Susan Roces.

As the senator delivered her 25-minute speech, her supporters repeatedly chanted her name, holding banners in support of Poe.

Written on the banners inside the UP Bahay ng Alumni were: "Sama-sama poe tayo," "Tuloy na poe," "Eto na poe," and "Maasahan, matapang, tapat poe."

In her speech, Poe stressed that having the heart to serve the people, especially the poor, is much more important than being intelligent.

She said she draws inspiration from farmers, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other people struggling to make their lives better.

She went on to present her platform, which includes pushing for inclusive growth, continuing the fight against corruption, addressing backlog in classrooms, crusading against crime and illegal drugs, and respecting the rights of everyone including senior citizens and members of the LGBT community.

"Walang maiiwang Pilipino at walang maiiwang lugar sa Pilipinas. Sabay-sabay tayong aangat at sama-sama tayong uunlad," Poe said.

With her declaration, Poe will face off against administration standard bearer former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and opposition candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Many have been waiting for Poe to finally announce her political plans for 2016, especially after she topped the latest presidential surveys of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia.

In the Pulse Asia survey conducted May 30 to June 5 and the SWS poll conducted June 5 to 8, Poe beat perennial survey frontrunner Binay, with 30 percent saying they would vote for the senator if the election was held during that time. Twenty-two percent said they would vote for Binay.

Binay placed 2nd in both surveys while Roxas landed on the 3rd spot in the SWS poll and in 4th place in Pulse Asia.

Poe had been courted by both the Liberal Party (LP) and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) to be their respective candidates' running mate. President Benigno Aquino III even met with Poe at least thrice.

Ever since her name was floated as among possible presidential candidates, critics have hit the 47-year-old Poe over her supposed lack of experience in governance.

Poe was chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board from 2010 to 2012 before she was elected senator in 2013.

She is also facing cases before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) questioning her citizenship and residency.

Among those who were present during her announcement were San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Villafuerte and his father LRay, and former ParaƱaque Rep. Roilo Golez.