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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

POE TO SEEK PRESIDENCY; PRESS CONFERENCE TOMORROW (Wed): 'WHAT, ME WORRY?' -NOY


SEPTEMBER 15 - Sen. Grace Poe is scheduled to hold a press conference tomorrow, during which she is expected to announce her final plans for the general elections, the sources said. File photo Noy: What, me worry? With citizenship questions still unresolved, Sen. Grace Poe has made up her mind and will seek the presidency in 2016, according to Senate sources. Poe is scheduled to hold a press conference tomorrow, during which she is expected to announce her final plans for the general elections, the sources said. It was not clear if Sen. Francis Escudero would be her running mate, as Poe wishes. President Aquino yesterday downplayed the possibility of Poe running against his anointed successor. “Worried? Why should we be worried of her announcing her plans? We really would like to hear what she says. Are we worried? No, we are not worried. I think the party stands on a particular platform,” Aquino told reporters yesterday in Iloilo where he led the ceremonial launch of the Iloilo Business Park as well as the inauguration of Richmonde Hotel and the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC). “We are moving away from personality politics to platform-based politics. So whatever her announcement is, we still will be advocating governance based on a particular or specific platform… rather than just any personality,” the President said. Aquino earlier said he has not given up trying to convince Poe to be the running mate of his chosen successor, Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel Roxas II. Senate President Franklin Drilon, LP vice chairman, also said they have nothing to worry about Poe’s impending announcement of her plans. READ MORE...RELATED, What, me worry? PNoy not bothered by Poe's plans ...

ALSO MINDANAO RADIO NET POLL: Binay tops latest presidential survey; Poe 2nd, Mar 3rd


SEPTEMBER 15 -VP BINAY -
Vice President Jejomar Binay led the latest presidential survey conducted by Radio Mindanao Network (RMN). In the survey conducted from Aug. 11 to 18, Binay got 26.16 percent of the votes among 4,718 listeners, followed by Sen. Grace Poe who obtained 24.84 percent.Binay and Poe are statistically tied at 1st and 2nd places if the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent is applied. Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas ranked third with 18.14 percent.“The Vice President is fighting an uphill battle against those who are bent on continuing a regime of social inequality. He is grateful for the people’s unbending support,” Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President’s media affairs office, said.Salgado said the Vice President intends to continue to talk directly with the people.“The Vice President has only one message for the people: It’s time for a real change and improvement in the lives of the poor,” he said.“What he started in Makati when he was city mayor, he will continue in the country,” he added. The RMN poll showed Binay has a wide margin over other potential presidential aspirants in Northern Luzon. Binay’s home province is Isabela.Poe dominated the votes in Metro Manila and south Luzon. Roxas, whose family is from Capiz, is ahead in the Visayas.Poe, facing a disqualification case regarding citizenship issues, has yet to declare if she is running for president.READ MORE...

ALSO Grace Poe: I’m your next President [“I am Grace Poe, a Filipino, a daughter, wife and mother. And with God’s grace, I offer myself for the country’s highest calling as your President.”]


SEPTEMBER 17 -HELLO TO A ‘NEW DAWN’ Sen. Grace Poe waves to supporters shortly after declaring her intention to seek the presidency in 2016. The much-anticipated but predictable announcement on Wednesday at Ang Bahay ng Alumni inside the UP Diliman campus capped months of speculation about the senator’s plans. The ruling Liberal Party had been courting her as running mate for its presidential bet, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ “I am Grace Poe, a Filipino, a daughter, wife and mother. And with God’s grace, I offer myself for the country’s highest calling as your President.” With these lines closing her presentation, Sen. Mary Grace Sonora Poe-Llamanzares declared her candidacy for President in next year’s national elections, capping a well-choreographed gathering that featured a heady mix of show-business celebrities and politicians of various stripes. In a lengthy speech delivered in Filipino, Poe presented her 20-point platform encompassing economic, social and cultural issues, including corruption, peace, education, infrastructure, tax reform, agriculture, the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute with China, labor and human rights. Speaking on corruption, Poe took a dig at those excluding her from the administration’s daang matuwid (straight path) reform program, even as she sang praises for President Aquino. “No one man or group holds a monopoly on daang matuwid. President Aquino has done much to curb corruption and I am thankful that it has restored the people’s faith in an honest leader,” she said. READ MORE...RELATED Poe-Chiz tandem finalized; Still in need of a political party ...

ALSO: Poe-Chiz tandem vows to lead gov't with compassion


SEPTEMBER 17 -Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Chiz Escudero will run as a team in the 2016 national elections. Philstar /Rosette Adel  Presidential and vice presidential candidates Sens. Grace Poe and Francis "Chiz" Escudero on Thursday promised to lead government with compassion when elected. In his vice presidential bid announcement, Escudero said he is accepting the role of the second highest post in the country since he believes in his running mate's leadership and capability to establish a government with compassion they dubbed "Gobyernong may Puso."  Like Poe, he also cited Poe's father, the late Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) in his vice presidential bid. "Ito po ay tinatanggap ko dahil buo ang tiwala at paniniwala ko sa mga katangian at kakayahan ni Senator Grace. Tulad ng kanyang ama na si FPJ, nasa tamang lugar ang puso ni Senator Poe," Escudero said. "Naniniwala po ako na, bilang pangulo, si Senator Grace Poe o "GP" ay magtatatag ng isang "GP" o Gobyernong may Puso," he added. Escudero said their leadership will prioritize the poor in need, laborers, overseas Filipino workers, and other members of society. The senator added that "Gobyernong may Puso" will ensure equality of rights and will find ways on how to lower prices of electricity and goods. "Sa pagyaman, o pag-asenso, sa edukasyon o pagkakataon, sa seguridad o kapayapaan, sa kalayaan at kalisugan, walang dapat maiwan na Pilipino o sulok ng Pilipinas," Escudero said. READ MORE...RELATED...FULL TEXT: Chiz Escudero announces vice presidential bid

ALSO Chiz: We can’t have a slow gov’t
[INDEPENDENTLY YOURS! Escudero accepts Poe’s challenge to become her running mate]


SEPTEMBER 17 -INDEPENDENTLY YOURS — As if making a solemn vow to each other amid falling confetti, Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero meets Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares at centerstage after announcing his vice presidential bid yesterday at Club Filipino in San Juan City. They are both independent candidates running as a presidential tandem in 2016. (Mark Balmores)
“Nowadays, good enough is not good enough! If we truly desire progress, we cannot be lazy. We cannot have a slow government.” Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero stressed this yesterday after accepting Sen. Grace Poe’s challenge for him to become her running mate in the May, 2016, presidential elections. Escudero declared his readiness to run for vice president yesterday at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan, a day after Poe formally announced her presidential bid at the University of the Philippines (UP) Bahay ng Alumni Wednesday night. Poe proclaimed Escudero, her long-time friend and a political ally, as her running mate during his event at Club Filipino, hailing him for being the lone lawmaker who went against then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s regime without fear he would lose congressional funding for his district. Escudero responded in gratitude, saying he has always been ready to support his colleague ever since he supported Poe’s father 11 years ago. The senator from Sorsogon vowed to raise the quality of government service under a Poe-Escudero watch. “We must work together and help one another to forge into reality our collective dream of a progressive, developed, orderly, and happy nation, where justice prevails and peace reigns! A country where every Filipino is treated equally, where no one is left behind,” he said.Prior to becoming senator, Escudero served as congressman representing Sorsogon. He also served as spokesman of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., Grace’s father, who ran and lost in the 2004 elections against President Arroyo. “I am glad that we have someone who can help us achieve that dream we are pushing for,” Poe said in her endorsement speech. READ MORE... RELATED (2) On Poe candidacy: Binay, No big deal; Drilon, LP ready to face presidential run with Poes & PNoy to Grace Poe: Don't make impossible promises ........

ALSO Commentary: Again, the making of a myth, Erap’s last hurrah


SEPTEMBER 17 -Man behind the myth? Left, Mayor Estrada; right, Senator Llamanzares. Inset, “Best friends forever” young men Erap and FPJ.
Senator Grace P. Llamanzares’ speech the other day “offering” herself as our next President was unexpectedly quite impressive. Her oratory would be the final nail on Manuel Roxas II political coffin, and for Vice President Jejomar Binay a loud wake-up call. As the myth of Benigno Aquino 3rd as the prince of the Yellow Righteous Path has unraveled, comes another myth-making episode in our county’s political history—although the more precise term would be hoaxes-for-some-purported-noble-purpose. A myth is a myth because the false pillars making it up aren’t easy to spot. But we are fortunate that the gullible editors of an internet-only news outfit, rappler.com, wrote an introduction to the text of Llamanzares’ speech that conveniently allows us to uncover the elements of this new myth of the Avenging Daughter. The rappler.com introduction went as follows (emphasis mine): “Senator Grace Poe declared on Wednesday night her presidential bid, promising to pursue the mission of her late father to help the poor. “I wanted to continue what my father FPJ had started,” said Poe. Actor Fernando Poe J. ran for president in 2004, but he was widely believed to have been cheated by President Gloria Arroyo. Political observers considered it proof of voters’ support for FPJ when Grace Poe topped the 2013 senatorial elections. After the public noticed her fearless probe into anomalies in the management of the Metro Ra il Transit and the Philippine National Police, Poe started topping presidential preference surveys.” The myth’s first false pillar: “She will pursue the mission of her late father to help the poor.” READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Poe to seek presidency


SEPTEMBER 15 - Sen. Grace Poe is scheduled to hold a press conference tomorrow, during which she is expected to announce her final plans for the general elections, the sources said. File photo Noy: What, me worry?

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015,
(PHILSTAR) By Aurea Calica and Christina Mendez -With citizenship questions still unresolved, Sen. Grace Poe has made up her mind and will seek the presidency in 2016, according to Senate sources.

Poe is scheduled to hold a press conference tomorrow, during which she is expected to announce her final plans for the general elections, the sources said.

It was not clear if Sen. Francis Escudero would be her running mate, as Poe wishes.

President Aquino yesterday downplayed the possibility of Poe running against his anointed successor.

“Worried? Why should we be worried of her announcing her plans? We really would like to hear what she says. Are we worried? No, we are not worried. I think the party stands on a particular platform,” Aquino told reporters yesterday in Iloilo where he led the ceremonial launch of the Iloilo Business Park as well as the inauguration of Richmonde Hotel and the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC).

“We are moving away from personality politics to platform-based politics. So whatever her announcement is, we still will be advocating governance based on a particular or specific platform… rather than just any personality,” the President said.

Aquino earlier said he has not given up trying to convince Poe to be the running mate of his chosen successor, Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel Roxas II.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, LP vice chairman, also said they have nothing to worry about Poe’s impending announcement of her plans.

READ MORE...

“If indeed true, that validates my assertion before that the Liberal Party should start looking for a vice president, because Senator Poe has decided to run for president. Therefore, we should intensify our efforts to look for a partner for Secretary Roxas,” he added.

He stressed that Poe’s possible presidential run is unlikely to split the administration’s supporters.

“No. We are not worried. From the very start I have always said that we strengthen our candidate, Roxas, rather than rely on the strength of any other person. There is no change in plan. We will continue to build Secretary Roxas,” he added.

It Escudero who bared last week Poe’s supposed plan to make an announcement of her political plans for 2016. He said he would make his own announcement immediately after Poe’s “because my own decision will be based on that.” Asked if the LP has narrowed down its choices for vice presidential candidate in the light of Poe’s apparent unwillingness to take the offer, Aquino merely said, “We do have a criteria as to whom.”

He stressed Roxas would have “the biggest say as to who he wants as a running mate.”

In his speech at the inauguration of the ICC, Aquino made another pitch for Roxas.

He said the ICC is just one proof of the positive transformation the country has undergone since he assumed office in 2010.

“We were able to achieve this because of unity. In 2010, we chose the straight, the honest and reasonable governance. It is clear: You’re the ones who made and continue to make this positive transformation that we achieved,” the President said.

Next year, Aquino said the country would again be at the crossroads as the nation chooses its next leaders.

“The question is simple: do you like what we have achieved within our term or go back to the old system where the few abuse the suffering of the people? Do you think we have fulfilled or surpassed the promises we made when we were just starting? On my part, if the answer is yes, it is but right to continue what we started and choose the one who could undoubtedly continue the straight path,” the President said.

“I am confident that just like in 2010, the vast majority of the people in Iloilo will be on the side of what is right and reasonable,” he said, adding that betting on Roxas is betting on the straight path.

Poe is facing a disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal but SET has dropped the residency issue against her.

The nine-member tribunal and the camps of Poe and petitioner Rizalito David agreed to drop the residency question in compliance with a rule requiring the filing of disqualification petitions based on residency within 10 days from proclamation of the candidate.

The SET, chaired by SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and composed of two other justices and six senators, would deliberate on Poe’s citizenship case on Sept. 21.

Aside from the disqualification case he filed against Poe before the SET, David also filed last month a complaint before the Commission on Elections, accusing Poe of “material misrepresentation” in her certificate of candidacy for her senatorial bid in 2013.

David accused Poe of committing an election offense for misrepresenting her citizenship, period of residency in the Philippines and eligibility to run for senator.

Such violation is punishable with up to six years imprisonment, disqualification from holding public office and suspension of the right of suffrage.

Transition plans Meanwhile, Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras assured Sen. Ralph Recto yesterday that the administration has transition plans for Cabinet members are leaving their posts to campaign for the 2016 national elections.

“For all those who have declared their intent to run. The Office of the President has a plan already. If they will push through with their intentions, there have been discussions as to who are the probable people who will take over,” Almendras said.

“And then the plans of each department are contained in a structure roadmap that we have been working for several years to put at ease the issue of follow-through,” said Almendras, who declared he is not a candidate for any post in the 2016 polls.

The secretary issued the statement after Recto insinuated in a public hearing that cabinet officials running in 2016 should make sure that the respective agencies would not be left hanging after their resignation.

Recto did not directly address his concerns to any Cabinet member, but Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino were present during the joint Senate hearing.

Tolentino and Abaya were reportedly being eyed as part of the administration’s senatorial slate. Apart from the two, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has also expressed intention to run for senator.

Drilon earlier revealed there would be major movements in the Aquino Cabinet by October when the filing of certificates of candidacy by candidates kicks off.

“Just a reminder, if there is among you who will run, make sure that there is a transition team already or a transition plan in your office. It’s that season already, we also have APEC and Christmas,” Recto said. With Jennifer Rendon and Christina Mendez

---------------------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

What, me worry? PNoy not bothered by Poe's plans Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News Posted at 09/14/2015 4:58 PM


WHAT, ME WORRY? - P-NOY

MANILA - President Aquino doesn't seem to be bothered by the expected announcement of Senator Grace Poe this week on her plans to run in 2016, saying the Liberal Party is not anymore personality but platform-oriented.

"Why should we be worried of her announcing her plans? We really would like to hear what she says. Are we worried? No, we are not worried. I think the party stands on a particular platform. We are moving away from personality politics to platform-based politics," Aquino said.

"So whatever her announcement is, we still insist that 'yung--we still will be advocating governance-based on a first…, particular specific platform rather than just--rather just any personality," he added.

READ MORE...

He then passed on the responsibility of choosing and naming the Liberal Party's vice presidential candidate to his chosen successor, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.

"I cannot speak at this point in time if we've narrowed down but we do have criteria as to whom. And at the end of the day, siyempre, ang aming standard-bearer will have the biggest say as to who he wants as a running mate," he said.

A news report earlier said Poe is set to announce her plans for the 2016 election sometime this week.

Poe is currently leading pre-election surveys on potential winners in the 2016 presidential election. She earlier said she prefers to run with Sen. Francis Escudero despite a standing offer from the LP to run with LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas.


PHILSTAR

Binay tops latest presidential survey, thanks Noy for ‘unbending support’ Philippine StarBy By Helen Flores | Philippine Star – 14 hours ago September 15, 2015


VP BINAY - Vice President Jejomar Binay led the latest presidential survey conducted by Radio Mindanao Network (RMN).

In the survey conducted from Aug. 11 to 18, Binay got 26.16 percent of the votes among 4,718 listeners, followed by Sen. Grace Poe who obtained 24.84 percent.
Binay and Poe are statistically tied at 1st and 2nd places if the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent is applied.

Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas ranked third with 18.14 percent.

“The Vice President is fighting an uphill battle against those who are bent on continuing a regime of social inequality. He is grateful for the people’s unbending support,” Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President’s media affairs office, said.

Salgado said the Vice President intends to continue to talk directly with the people.

“The Vice President has only one message for the people: It’s time for a real change and improvement in the lives of the poor,” he said.

“What he started in Makati when he was city mayor, he will continue in the country,” he added.

The RMN poll showed Binay has a wide margin over other potential presidential aspirants in Northern Luzon. Binay’s home province is Isabela.

Poe dominated the votes in Metro Manila and south Luzon. Roxas, whose family is from Capiz, is ahead in the Visayas.

Poe, facing a disqualification case regarding citizenship issues, has yet to declare if she is running for president.

READ MORE...

Poe’s SETappearance

Meanwhile, Binay’s camp lashed out at Sen. Francis Escudero for lauding Poe’s appearance before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) while criticizing other people – whom he did not identify – who chose to evade the allegations against them.

Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political affairs, said Escudero has turned a blind eye to the “kangaroo court” proceedings of the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee conducting corruption allegations against the Vice President.

“He conveniently forgets to mention that the SET allows the parties to review the evidence and cross-examine the accusers, something that is completely denied the Vice President in the Senate subcommittee hearings,” he said.

Quicho said the Senate sub-committee hearing is a sham, adding Binay’s accusers were allowed to make unsubstantiated charges without offering evidence.

He said the underhanded manner employed by the Senate had pushed the Vice President to file cases in court.

Last Thursday, Binay filed separate libel cases against former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV before the Makati regional trial court in connection with the false, malicious and defamatory accusations against him.

The Vice President earlier filed a P200-million civil suit against the senators conducting the hearings, Mercado and his other accusers.

Quicho also chided Escudero for failing to put to task his fellow senators who bullied resource persons invited by the sub-committee.

“He should well know that hitting the Vice President with unfounded accusations will not make other candidates ready for the presidency,” he said.
– With Raffy Viray


INQUIRER

Grace Poe: I’m your next President By: Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 01:55 AM September 17th, 2015


HELLO TO A ‘NEW DAWN’ Sen. Grace Poe waves to supporters shortly after declaring her intention to seek the presidency in 2016. The much-anticipated but predictable announcement on Wednesday at Ang Bahay ng Alumni inside the UP Diliman campus capped months of speculation about the senator’s plans. The ruling Liberal Party had been courting her as running mate for its presidential bet, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

“I am Grace Poe, a Filipino, a daughter, wife and mother. And with God’s grace, I offer myself for the country’s highest calling as your President.”

With these lines closing her presentation, Sen. Mary Grace Sonora Poe-Llamanzares declared her candidacy for President in next year’s national elections, capping a well-choreographed gathering that featured a heady mix of show-business celebrities and politicians of various stripes.

In a lengthy speech delivered in Filipino, Poe presented her 20-point platform encompassing economic, social and cultural issues, including corruption, peace, education, infrastructure, tax reform, agriculture, the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute with China, labor and human rights.

Speaking on corruption, Poe took a dig at those excluding her from the administration’s daang matuwid (straight path) reform program, even as she sang praises for President Aquino.

“No one man or group holds a monopoly on daang matuwid. President Aquino has done much to curb corruption and I am thankful that it has restored the people’s faith in an honest leader,” she said.

READ MORE...


FAMILY PHOTO: A young Senator Grace Poe with her father Fernando Poe Jr and mother Susan Roces PHOTO FROM RAPPLER.COM NEWS June 07, 2015.

Poe, 47, styled her candidacy as a continuation of the journey of her father, the late movie icon Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ), who ran for President in 2004 to help the needy and fight poverty but lost to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a hotly contested race marred by allegations of fraud.

“When I first asked for your help, I said that I wanted to continue what my father FPJ had started,” Poe told her supporters at the jampacked Ang Bahay ng Alumni on the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City.

She recalled that 11 years ago, FPJ announced his plan to run for President to “help the poor, fight oppression, and forge a prosperous and just society.”

“He often told me: Gracia, poverty is not a destiny because each one’s fate is in their hands,” she said.

“But to get out of poverty, one’s own hard work is often not enough. Everyone needs a helping hand. Shouldn’t this be the measure of a responsive government and society—how it uplifts everyone and leaves no one behind?”

Leaders of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) had opposed proposals to adopt Poe as presidential candidate because she was not a member of the party.

They avidly wooed her, though, to be the running mate of the LP standard-bearer, Mar Roxas, believing that her popularity would rub off on the former interior secretary.

But she spurned the administration’s overtures to make an independent run for Malacañang.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda issued a statement Wednesday night swatting aside Poe’s swipe at the LP having a monopoly of the straight path:

 “What is clear is we’re running on the platform of daang matuwid or of continuing the reforms President Aquino has undertaken. They (Poe) are running on a campaign of bagong umaga (new day) or change. All the aspirations that have been enunciated have been implemented or in the process of being implemented. Having said that, we wish Sen. Grace Poe all the best.”


HAPPIER DAYS? Former interior secretary Mar Roxas, Senator Grace Poe, and Senate President Franklin Drilon before the 2016 campaign season heated up. Senate file photo

Sought for comment, Roxas said Poe sent him a text message on Wednesday to express her gratitude to him for patiently waiting for her to decide whether to run.

“She thanked me for my patience and understanding in considering her a running mate. I thanked her and wished her good luck,” Roxas said.

Her inspiration

Poe said she took her inspiration from the ordinary Filipinos who triumphed over their daily struggles.

They include the multitudes who jostle for space on the MRT and run to catch public transportation to inch through gridlocked roads; the public utility vehicle drivers; the call center agents who work graveyard shifts; the fishermen out at sea; the parents who leave the country to provide a better life for their children; the workers with calloused hands and bent backs; government workers, teachers, students, nurses, policemen and soldiers.

“I draw inspiration from each and every one of you. You give me the strength to pursue a higher calling for our country,” she said, a remark that drew applause and loud chanting of her name.

Poe also recalled the criticism her father received as a presidential candidate, and which he ignored to pursue his dreams of a better future for the Philippines.

Her father was ridiculed and belittled for his inexperience, Poe remembered.

“Yet he bravely faced the challenge and the opportunity to help change the lives of his fellow Filipinos for the better,” she said.

“His integrity, courage and goodness have become both my guide and inspiration. My mother also gave me sound advice. She said, ‘Child, amid the loud noise of politics, never ever lose yourself,’” Poe said.

She also made a brief reference to her origin as an abandoned child later adopted by her movie celebrity parents.


Grace Poe's family (from left): son Bryan Llamanzares, husband Neil Llamanzares, and mom Susan Roces

‘My life is an open book’

Her life origins have been questioned and have become the source of a disqualification case against her, anchored on the argument that with her true parentage unknown, she cannot be considered a natural-born Filipino citizen qualified to hold elective office.

“My life is an open book,” she said. “Who would’ve thought that a foundling would ever become senator? I thank you for giving me that opportunity.”

Filipinos are a loving, creative and resourceful people, she said, and called for unity in order to improve the country’s future.

“We should stick together, because one person cannot bring about this change. Anyone who promises he alone can do it is lying,” she said.

“The story of our future lies in all our hands. I hope you will join me in crafting a bright and meaningful future for our motherland, the Philippines,” she added.

Poe’s declaration of her presidential candidacy puts her at the center of the exciting race for Malacañang that will pit her against veteran politicians—former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

To go by the latest polls, she is the most popular candidate among voters.

While she has styled herself as an independent because she is not a member of any political party, Poe herself is surrounded by old hands in politics.

She is expected to run with Sen. Francis Escudero, and to be adopted by several political parties.


EMOTIONAL RUSH After declaring her intention to seek the 2016 presidency in her speech on Wednesday at Ang Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman, Sen. Grace Poe hugs her mother, Susan Roces, in a moving, mothering moment, while son Brian (left) looks on. LYN RILLON

Supporters


The country’s second largest political party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), remains “non-committal” to any presidential candidate despite the anticipated declaration of Senator Grace Poe’s candidacy today, September 16.

The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) was represented at her announcement Wednesday night, with party president Giorgidi Aggabao and spokesmen Rex Gatchalian and Mark Enverga showing up.

Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Villafuerte and father LRay of the Nacionalista Party (NP) also came.

Also present were House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora and son Francis, the incumbent San Juan vice mayor.

Former An Waray Rep. Florencio Noel, a friend of the President, attended the gathering. He resigned on Tuesday as director of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to help in Poe’s campaign.

He said he had informed Aquino of the reason for his decision to leave his government job.

‘Near-ripe better’

While criticized for her lack of experience, being a newcomer to politics has, so far, worked to Poe’s advantage, as supporters cite her untarnished record.

“Being ripe means near to rotting. Near-ripe is better,” said Malou Cayanan, a leader of informal settler families in Bagbag, Quezon City.

Most of the people who gathered at the alumni hall were brought in by local leaders from Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong, Quezon, Caloocan, Malabon, Parañaque and Pasay cities.

They wore shirts expressing support for Poe with such words as “Ampunin si Grace Poe” and “Ang Dapat Kahit Orphan Lang Puede Talagang Mangarap,” all alluding to Poe’s being an adopted child.

“We see that she’s the epitome of a leader. Unlike others, she’s a fresh fac
e and not a traditional politician,” said Rab Medina of the UP Paralegal Society.
Members of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (Palea) also came to show their support for Poe.

“I haven’t heard other politicians talk about workers’ rights. But Grace is talking about issues involving workers. Right now, she is the best alternative,” said Gerry Rivera, Palea president and vice chair of Partido Manggagawa.

Life and accomplishments

Before Poe’s speech, an audio-video presentation summarizing her life was shown to the crowd. It began with a voice clip of her father speaking of how he and his wife had done everything they could to have a child.

It ended with a listing of her accomplishments as senator and chair of the committees on public information and public order, and subcommittee on transportation, as well as key legislation that she had sponsored.

As Poe announced her 2016 journey, her family came in full force to lend her support.

Her mother, actress Susan Roces, arrived hours before her scheduled 6:30 p.m. speech, followed shortly by her husband, Neil Llamanzares, and children Brian, Hanna and Nikka.


PRAYING FOR GRACE Shortly before making her momentous announcement about seeking the presidency in 2016, Sen. Grace Poe (second from left) shares a prayer with her family: (front row, from left) husband Neil Llamanzares, mother Susan Roces, daughter Hanna, son Brian and daughter Nikka. LYN RILLON


Llamanzares told reporters that the family was proud of her and was behind her 100 percent.

Before Poe’s announcement, Roces advised her daughter to live up to her name, and “be gracious in every way.”

She said Poe was no stranger to challenges, having faced them when she was growing up.

Roces also said she expected the 2016 elections to be a far cry from the 2004 race when her husband ran for President.


Supporters from Bicol, Valenzuela, Nueva Ecija, Malabon, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong, Rizal, and Mindanao also came. Representatives Giorgidi Agabbao and Mark Enverga, members of the Nacionalist People’s Coalition, came to show their support for Poe while their party is still in the process of deciding who to endorse in 2016. RAPPLER.COM PHOTOS

The lineup of candidates, the country’s situation, and the challenges the candidates would face are all different from what was in place 10 years ago, she said.

According to Poe, people should push for true reforms to achieve inclusive growth, global competitiveness and transparent government.

She also listed some of the key components of her platform, centering on the principle and belief that no Filipino and no region should be left behind.

For corruption, wrongdoers would be held accountable, “whether they be friend or foe,” she said. She vowed to push for the passage into law of the freedom of information bill at the soonest possible time.

She also said she would pursue peace with all groups fighting the government, as Filipinos should not be killing fellow Filipinos. She made a special mention of “Moro brothers” who, after a long and hard history, should be given equal opportunities and genuine assistance.

When it comes to territorial disputes, she asserted that the West Philippine Sea belonged to the Philippines. Her administration would protect what belongs to the Philippines through peaceful means and in accordance with international law. She would also beef up the military and the coast guard.

Infrastructure development would be a priority when it comes to roads, trains, airport, seaports and the Internet. The government would support the private sector in formulating an industrialization and IT plan, she said.

Traffic problems would be dealt with by building more roads and trains, with the project awarded to credible contractors.

Tax reform is another goal, and she aims to lower the country’s high income tax rates. People have the right to choose how to spend their hard-earned money, she said. But they should also do their part by paying the correct taxes. Workers should also get fair wages and benefits.

Poe also vowed to push for a faster Internet connection, a tool she said would help a wide spectrum of citizens, including students doing schoolwork and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who need to get in touch with loved ones back home.

For education, the country should maximize digital technology, expand scholarship programs and enhance the “study now, pay later” program, she said.

For agriculture, farmers should get their own land and irrigation and mechanization should be improved. Fishing, farming and livestock programs should also be made profitable.

High power costs should be brought down, especially in Mindanao where power outages are a frequent occurrence. Renewable energy should be developed, she said.

When it comes to OFWs, they would be provided proper legal support, and the government would reduce fees and cut red tape that they have to put up with to get their papers processed.

‘Personal crusade’

Poe also vowed to keep a close watch on eliminating crime and illegal drugs, which she said was a “personal crusade.” As a mother, she said, she could not rest easy until all her children are home safe at night.

She said she would make sure the police had the proper skills and discipline to arrest criminals, and not just to report crimes.

When it comes to human rights, she said her administration would take care of people with disabilities, indigenous people, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups, and senior citizens.

People should be able to rely on PhilHealth, for health concerns and communities should have proper hospitals, staff members and equipment.

Arts, culture and sports would also be given the proper attention to develop the country’s talents. “We should never give up on our dream of an Olympic gold,” she said.

Department of Emergency

Climate change deserves special attention, she said. There should be a Department of Emergency Management that would focus on national preparedness, climate change and geo-mapping, she said.

Tourism would also be given greater attention, as it would create new jobs even in far-flung parts of the country.

The issues of children are also close to her heart, Poe said. They should receive proper nutrition through a shared lunch program in public schools.

Festive mood

Balloons, banners and the beat of drums gave a festive mood to the gathering at Ang Bahay ng Alumni. About 5,000 supporters jammed the hall to listen to Poe’s announcement.

A group from Binondo performed a dragon dance, a symbol of luck in Chinese culture—
With reports from Erika Sauler, Jerry E. Esplanada and Marlon Ramos

MORE PHOTOS AT RAPPLER.COM

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Poe-Chiz tandem finalized; Still in need of a political party By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 16, 2015 - 12:00am 1 420 googleplus0 0


Sen. Grace Poe’s team-up with fellow senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero for the general elections has been sealed. File photo/DANNY DANGCALAN

MANILA, Philippines - It’s a tandem in need of a political party, but Sen. Grace Poe is the first presidential hopeful in 2016 to have a running mate.

Poe’s team-up with fellow senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero for the general elections has been sealed.

She is scheduled to announce her presidential bid today before family and friends at the Balay ng Alumni at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

Poe’s announcement will end speculations on her political plans, and likely turn the 2016 presidential derby into a three-cornered fight with Vice President Jejomar Binay and the administration’s standard-bearer, former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II.

Sources said Poe would formally endorse Escudero as her running mate tomorrow at the Club Filipino in San Juan.

“Sen. Chiz Escudero will make an announcement on Sept. 17, 2015, 10 a.m. at the Kalayaan Hall of Club Filipino,” the senator’s office said in an advisory.

Escudero is preparing his acceptance speech, sources added.

A media advisory sent by Poe’s office said the senator “will make an important announcement in connection with her plans for the 2016 national elections.”

Florencio Noel, former representative of the party-list group An Waray, said yesterday that the event was organized by different groups supporting Poe’s candidacy.

“As chairman of An Waray, which is part of the GP for President movement, I am hoping and praying that she will declare her intention to be our president in 2016,” he said.

Noel said members of Poe’s family led by veteran actress Susan Roces and the senator’s friends and classmates from grade school to college were invited to the 6 p.m. UP event.

“Some politicians, including congressmen will also be there,” he said.

Officers of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) led by Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, its president, were scheduled yesterday to hold a press conference to announce Poe’s declaration of her presidential candidacy.

However, at the last minute, they cancelled it without any explanation.

Noel said Poe would meet the press at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan on Thursday “hopefully to announce her running mate.”

She had repeatedly stated that if she decides to run for president, Sen. Francis Escudero would be her vice presidential candidate.

The two, together or separately, have been going around the country.

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III downplayed the Poe-Chiz tandem, saying it was expected since Poe has been gunning for the presidency despite the efforts of President Aquino and other members of the Liberal Party to get her as Roxas’ vice president.

“Bale wala lang. It doesn’t matter. You will not remember that one month from now,” Osmeña said.

“It doesn’t matter. It’s like you are asking me should I go to the bathroom at 3 a.m... to me it’s not significant so don’t ask me for comment, because to me it’s not significant,” he added.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said he has long seen the Poe-Escudero tandem as a done deal after receiving reports from various sources.

Drilon had early on said that Poe is running for president based on the “writings on the wall.”

Drilon brushed aside any possible threat from the Poe-Escudero tandem as he exuded confidence for Roxas as the administration-backed LP standard bearer.

“We will build our own strength and not rely on anyone,” Drilon said when asked about the upcoming team-up of Poe and Escudero.

Drilon also downplayed Osmeña’s advice to Roxas to stay away from President Aquino, whose statements on the “alternative truth” on the Mamasapano raid and his stance against tax reforms might affect Roxas’ presidential bid.

“All of these are speculations. One week is too long in politics,” he added. “Surveys are just indications. Do not isolate one survey, look at the trend.”

With his resignation from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Roxas will now be free to go around and “nobody can say he is using government resources,” Drilon said.

Mar will decide According to Drilon, LP vice-chairman, Roxas has been conducting serious talks with four potential running mates to complete their slate for 2016.

The long senatorial list is also being reviewed by LP officers, he added.

“My information is that Mar (Roxas) is talking to each of them. I do not exactly know the status of the discussion. The President has advised us to give Mar a prerogative to state his preference and then we ratify,” Drilon said.

“Discussions are taking place between Mar and four potential vice presidential pairings, although Sen. (Antonio) Trillanes (IV) said he will support somebody else. So we had the consensus, we let Mar personally handle the process and he will express to us his decision,” Drilon added.

“Since he (Roxas) is the candidate, he should be comfortable with his partner,” he added.

Drilon said the LP has reversed the process where Roxas will nominate and the body will support his choice. – Jess Diaz


PHILSTAR

Poe-Chiz tandem vows to lead gov't with compassion By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated September 17, 2015 - 12:13pm 3 22 googleplus5 1


Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Chiz Escudero will run as a team in the 2016 national elections. Philstar.com/Rosette Adel

MANILA, Philippines - Presidential and vice presidential candidates Sens. Grace Poe and Francis "Chiz" Escudero on Thursday promised to lead government with compassion when elected.

In his vice presidential bid announcement, Escudero said he is accepting the role of the second highest post in the country since he believes in his running mate's leadership and capability to establish a government with compassion they dubbed "Gobyernong may Puso."

Like Poe, he also cited Poe's father, the late Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) in his vice presidential bid.

"Ito po ay tinatanggap ko dahil buo ang tiwala at paniniwala ko sa mga katangian at kakayahan ni Senator Grace. Tulad ng kanyang ama na si FPJ, nasa tamang lugar ang puso ni Senator Poe," Escudero said.

"Naniniwala po ako na, bilang pangulo, si Senator Grace Poe o "GP" ay magtatatag ng isang "GP" o Gobyernong may Puso," he added.

Escudero said their leadership will prioritize the poor in need, laborers, overseas Filipino workers, and other members of society.

The senator added that "Gobyernong may Puso" will ensure equality of rights and will find ways on how to lower prices of electricity and goods.

"Sa pagyaman, o pag-asenso, sa edukasyon o pagkakataon, sa seguridad o kapayapaan, sa kalayaan at kalisugan, walang dapat maiwan na Pilipino o sulok ng Pilipinas," Escudero said.

READ MORE...

Escudero reiterated the points mentioned by Poe in her presidential announcement on Wednesday including issues on Metro Manila's traffic. He also mentioned the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill.

To implement their promises, Escudero sought help from the Filipino people.

"Hindi namin ito kakayanin ni Senator Grace ng kami lamang. Kailangan namin ang tulong ng bawat isa sa inyo... ng bawat Pilipino!" Escudero said.

The senator said the Filipino will be included in their party called "Partido ng Pilipinas."

Escudero is a long time friend of running mate Poe. He also served as the campaign manager of FPJ and Poe during their respective presidential and senatorial bids.

On Wednesday, Poe officially declared her presidential bid at the Bahay ng Alumni, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City while Escudero's announcement was held Thursday morning at Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR: FULL TEXT: Chiz Escudero announces vice presidential bid

Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Chiz Escudero will run as a team in the 2016 national elections. Philstar.com/Rosette Adel


GOVERNMENT OF COMPASSION, 'GOBYERNONG MAY PUSO'

MANILA, Philippines - Presidential and vice presidential candidates Sens. Grace Poe and Francis "Chiz" Escudero on Thursday promised to lead government with compassion when elected.

In his vice presidential bid announcement, Escudero said he is accepting the role of the second highest post in the country since he believes in his running mate's leadership and capability to establish a government with compassion they dubbed "Gobyernong may Puso."

Like Poe, he also cited Poe's father, the late Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) in his vice presidential bid. "Ito po ay tinatanggap ko dahil buo ang tiwala at paniniwala ko sa mga katangian at kakayahan ni Senator Grace. Tulad ng kanyang ama na si FPJ, nasa tamang lugar ang puso ni Senator Poe," Escudero said.

"Naniniwala po ako na, bilang pangulo, si Senator Grace Poe o "GP" ay magtatatag ng isang "GP" o Gobyernong may Puso," he added.

Escudero said their leadership will prioritize the poor in need, laborers, overseas Filipino workers, and other members of society.

The senator added that "Gobyernong may Puso" will ensure equality of rights and will find ways on how to lower prices of electricity and goods. "Sa pagyaman, o pag-asenso, sa edukasyon o pagkakataon, sa seguridad o kapayapaan, sa kalayaan at kalisugan, walang dapat maiwan na Pilipino o sulok ng Pilipinas," Escudero said.


MANILA BULLETIN

Chiz: We can’t have a slow gov’t Escudero accepts Poe’s challenge to become her running mate by Hannah Torregoza September 18, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share6


INDEPENDENTLY YOURS — As if making a solemn vow to each other amid falling confetti, Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero meets Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares at centerstage after announcing his vice presidential bid yesterday at Club Filipino in San Juan City. They are both independent candidates running as a presidential tandem in 2016. (Mark Balmores)

“Nowadays, good enough is not good enough! If we truly desire progress, we cannot be lazy. We cannot have a slow government.”

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero stressed this yesterday after accepting Sen. Grace Poe’s challenge for him to become her running mate in the May, 2016, presidential elections.

Escudero declared his readiness to run for vice president yesterday at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan, a day after Poe formally announced her presidential bid at the University of the Philippines (UP) Bahay ng Alumni Wednesday night.

Poe proclaimed Escudero, her long-time friend and a political ally, as her running mate during his event at Club Filipino, hailing him for being the lone lawmaker who went against then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s regime without fear he would lose congressional funding for his district.

Escudero responded in gratitude, saying he has always been ready to support his colleague ever since he supported Poe’s father 11 years ago.

The senator from Sorsogon vowed to raise the quality of government service under a Poe-Escudero watch.

“We must work together and help one another to forge into reality our collective dream of a progressive, developed, orderly, and happy nation, where justice prevails and peace reigns! A country where every Filipino is treated equally, where no one is left behind,” he said.

Prior to becoming senator, Escudero served as congressman representing Sorsogon. He also served as spokesman of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., Grace’s father, who ran and lost in the 2004 elections against President Arroyo.

“I am glad that we have someone who can help us achieve that dream we are pushing for,” Poe said in her endorsement speech.

READ MORE...

“It’s true that Sen. Chiz is my friend. But when it’s for the nation, choosing our running mate should be based on confidence on the people we trust on; someone who is capable and someone who has already done much for his fellowmen,” she said.

Poe had earlier said she is more comfortable running with Escudero than with any other vice presidential candidate.

GOV’T WITH A HEART

Escudero said his decision to run for the second highest position in government is borne out of his belief Poe can establish a “Gobyernong may Puso” (government with a heart).

“Ito po ang dahilan kung bakit tinatanggap ko, ng may buong tapang at pagpapakumbaba ang hamon ni Sen. Grace na maging katuwang niya sa landas niyang tatahakin bilang kanyang ikalawang pangulo (This is the reason why I accepted Sen. Grace’s challenge with all courage and humility to join her in her journey as her vice president),” the senator said.

At the same time, Escudero took the opportunity to negate his critics’ who are skeptical of his capability to be the next vice president.

“Marahil po ay tama sila sa isang banda dahil Escudero lamang naman po ang aking pangalan at di kasing bantog ng ibang mga pangalan tulad ng Quezon, Roxas, o Osmeña, na naging pangulo, bayani, o mayamang pilantropo (Maybe they are right because I am just an unknown Escudero and not as famous as the names of Quezon, Roxas or Osmeña who either became presidents, hero or a rich philantrophist),” he said.

“Ang pagka-senador na po ang pinaka-mataas na halal na pwesto na narating ng aking apelyido na ni hindi ko po inakala na mararating ko (The highest elective position I’ve achieved so far is to become a senator that not even I thought I can reach),” he said.

HIT THE GROUND RUNNING

Should they be elected as the president and vice president, respectively, Escudero said they will “hit the ground running from the first day until the last.”

“In governing this country, we cannot afford to dawdle or hold ourselves hostage to analysis paralysis. We should hit the ground running from the first day until the last. We cannot afford to do otherwise,” Escudero said.

Escudero also vowed that they will remain independent politicians, saying they believe those aspiring for higher office should not be members of any political party.

“We believe that whoever runs and serves as president or vice president should not be member of a single party (LP, NPC, NUP, NP, UNA, or others). Our party should be the Philippines. And we should be loyal not only to liberals, nationalists, or other party members, but to every Filipino,” he added.

“We need to elevate government service. We need to unite and help each other in molding the dreams and aspirations to become a nation that is wealthy, clean, and happy and where justice and peace prevails,” he said.

Among those present during the event included the Poe’s mother, veteran actress Susan Roces, and her half-sister Lovi Poe together with actor Rocco Nacino.

Escudero’s wife, actress Heart Evangelista, his mother-in-law Cecile Ongpauco and his mother, Sorsogon Rep. Evelina “Evie” Escudero was also present at Club Filipino.

Roces was in a light blue blouse in honor of the Virgin Mary – a color which Poe said her mother reminded her to include as one of their campaign colors.

POLITICS UNITES

As this developed, the decision of Poe and Escudero to run together in 2016 seems to have united families of the senator from Sorsogon and his wife Heart Evangelista as the actress’ loved ones joined the event yesterday.

Evangelista’s mother, Cecille Ongpauco, her sisters Mitch and Camille, were present at Club Filipino where Poe formally endorsed Escudero as her running mate.

The actress’ father, Reynaldo Ongpauco, who recently underwent an operation, was unable to attend.

“I’m not sure what else they plan to do but we are very excited and they are very supportive. That’s good enough for us,” Heart told reporters in an interview at the sidelines of the event.

“All’s well that ends well,” she said.

It was recalled that Evangelista’s parents did not show up at the couple’s wedding in Balesin in Polilio Island when they got married on February 23, 2015.

Evangelista said her mother and sisters were already at their house as early as 7 or 8 a.m. prior to the event.

Her father called up Escudero, saying he is supportive of the senator and will watch the events unfold on television.

HEART’S SUPPORT

Evangelista said she is prepared to support her husband full-time when the election campaign heats up.

“More or less, napag-usapan namin, kung siya di makapunta, ako ang pupunta kung busy siya and as much as possible gusto din naming na continue to work, may trabaho din ako,” she said.

Sorsogon Rep. Evelina “Evie” Escudero, Chiz’s mother, said she is also relieved that the family has settled their issues peacefully.

“OK na. Wala naman silang choice kung hindi to support their daughter kasi mahal nila ang anak nila, just the same na kami mahal naming ang anak naming (They’re okay now. They have no other choice but to support their daughter whom they love so much),” the elder Escudero said.

“Everything is peaceful na,” she said.

SENATORIAL LINEUP

Meanwhile, Escudero’s mother said the Poe-Escudero team already has eight senatorial candidates under its ticket.

The congresswoman, however, refused to provide any further details, saying it is up to Senators Poe and Escudero to bare details of their senatorial lineup.

Mrs. Escudero, likewise, said she is confident of her son running for vice president in next year’s elections.

“He has long since decided to run for that position. He wants to run as vice president only, not as president,” she said. Last August, both senators denied reports they have already formed a senatorial ticket they will carry in next year’s polls.

The senatorial candidates are from different political parties and affiliations.

Rumors circulated that among those who would be part of the Poe-Escudero senatorial ticket, include Las Piñas City Rep. Mark Villar, Valenzuela City Rep. Win Gatchalian, Taguig Rep. Lino Cayetano, House Independent Bloc Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez.

There were also reports re-electionist Senators Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Ralph Recto, Manila City Vice Mayor Francisco Domagoso or “Isko” Moreno, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva are also included in the list. (With a report from Rizal S. Obanil)

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

On Poe candidacy: Binay, No big deal; Drilon, LP ready to face presidential run with PoesBy: Carla P. Gomez, Christine O. Avendaño and Niña P. Calleja @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Visayas, Philippine Daily Inquirer 04:21 AM September 17th, 2015


Vice President Jejomar Binay: I have other important things to do
Senate President Franklin Drilon: The Liberal Party is ready to face the presidential run of Poe. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

For Vice President Jejomar Binay, the prospect of Sen. Grace Poe being his rival in the 2016 elections is not a big deal.

“She can declare (her bid for President). What do you want me to say? As far as I am concerned, I am a candidate for President in the 2016 elections,” Binay told reporters on the sidelines of the Mining Philippines 2015 conference, which he keynoted on Wednesday morning.

Binay showed indifference to the news that Poe declared her presidential bid on Wednesday afternoon at Ang Bahay ng Alumni at the University of the Philippines, alma mater of both the Vice President and Poe.

He dodged the question about Poe posing a threat to his candidacy.

But the Vice President said he would not monitor Poe’s announcement. “I won’t be a hypocrite. I have other important things to do,” he told reporters.

The Liberal Party (LP), which is fielding Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as its standard-bearer in the 2016 elections, is ready to face the presidential run of Poe, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday.

“They are all candidates and we will face them all because we are running under a platform of good governance, the daang matuwid [straight path],” Drilon said in a radio interview, when asked to comment on whether Poe’s run for the presidency would threaten Roxas’ own bid.

Drilon, the LP vice chair, said the party had a good platform of government in daang matuwid.

As to Poe’s camp, he said: “[W]here they will tread, that’s their problem.”
Poe announced Wednesday night that she was taking on the challenge of running for President.

She was expected to announce Sen. Francis Escudero as her running mate in the latter’s press conference Thursday.

Believe in brand

Broadcaster Korina Sanchez, Roxas’ wife, said she was not afraid of Poe’s bid for the presidency.

Sanchez, who was at the opening of the 30th Negros Trade Fair at Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City, was asked if Poe’s entry was a threat.

She told the Inquirer that the Roxas camp was not threatened by Poe’s entry in the presidential race because it believed her husband had the best qualifications to lead the nation.

“We’re kind of relaxed because I think it’s just all about believing in your brand and, being his wife, of course I’m biased. I think he (Roxas) is the best person and the best brand,” she added.

Sanchez said no one could beat 30 years in governance.

Saying Roxas is an Ilonggo, she added, “I guess that’s good enough reason to put back a Visayan in Malacañang. It’s about time.”

Reminded that Poe also has Ilonggo roots, Sanchez replied: “But he can speak Ilonggo. She cannot. You also have to count the number of visits over the years (to Negros). Between all the candidates and by far, Mar is a sure winner.”

The mothers of Roxas and Poe—Judy Roxas-Araneta and Susan Roces—are both from Negros Occidental province.

Drilon said that he had long told his party mates to prepare because Poe, the front-runner in recent presidential surveys, was gunning for the presidency and that the party should stop courting her to be Roxas’ running mate.

The Senate President said the party would likely know who would be Roxas’ running mate by the end of the month, as the latter was continuing to talk to prospective vice presidents who include Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Very transparent

At the Negros Trade Fair in Makati City, Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and former Gov. Rafael Coscolluela also came to the defense of Roxas.

Marañon said he did not believe Poe’s entry into the presidential race would affect Roxas’ chances of winning.

“(Roxas) is the most experienced, is brilliant and has been in government for a long time with not a single taint of corruption to his name. He is very transparent,” the governor said.

Marañon said Poe’s decision to join the race would only strengthen Roxas’ resolve to work for his victory. In the end, he added, Roxas will win.

Most organized party

“Politics is local and the Liberal Party is the most organized down to the grassroots level,” he said.

“Does Grace Poe have that organization up to the precinct level?” he asked.

Coscolluela said the entry of Poe in the presidential race would strengthen Roxas’ chances because people would be asking who among the presidential candidates was most qualified.

“Right now all that the Grace Poe group is banking on is really popularity. But if people just make a habit of asking what the credentials of the candidates are, then I’m pretty sure that Mar will outrank all the other candidates by a mile,” he said.

Coscolluela was confident that the voters would vote on the basis of qualifications and not just on the basis of popularity.

Good luck



Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, meanwhile, wished Poe good luck.

Recto, who is reported to be jumping to the Poe-Escudero camp, welcomed “Senator Grace’s courageous move to submit her application letter for the highest officer in the land.”

“That she will present a preview of her platform would hopefully be the cue that the run-up to 2016 will be marked by a serious discussion of issues and away from the pettiness of gutter politics,” he said in a statement.

“I wish her good luck and Godspeed—the same sincere tidings I would convey to my seatmates in the chamber—Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Antonio Trillanes IV, Escudero and Cayetano—when it is time for them to submit their reported application letter for the vice presidency as well,” Recto said.

Marcos still undecided



Even if he said the political situation would somehow clear with Poe finally announcing her bid for the presidency, Marcos said he had yet to decide whether to run for higher office as the possible running mate of Binay or to seek reelection.
Marcos said he would still have to consult with his party, the Nacionalista Party of former Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., this week.

“I have nothing new to tell you… I see elements that are still unclear,” he told reporters, who asked him about Binay’s statement that he was 85 to 90 percent sure of his vice presidential candidate.

Asked whether he was in touch with Binay, Marcos said not personally but through “intermediaries” whom he was in constant communication with.

Always standing by Estrada

Hours before Poe’s announcement, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) secretary general JV Bautista said the party was still hoping that former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada would support UNA in next year’s elections.
Bautista said it was the party that was by Estrada’s side “in his recent political activities.”

“We believe that the politics of Erap will somehow be seriously considered,” Bautista told reporters on the sidelines of a media forum in San Juan City.
In recent interviews, Estrada said he was caught in a dilemma—whom to choose among the three presidential contenders he would support.

Erap’s ties to Poe



The former President noted that Roxas was a very good Cabinet member during his short-lived presidency, Binay was a close friend and Poe his godchild and the daughter of his bosom friend—the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ).

Estrada is believed to be more inclined to endorse the candidacy of Poe as he wasn’t able to personally campaign for the presidential bid of FPJ in 2004 because he was then incarcerated for the crime of plunder.

Apart from endorsing and campaigning for the junior senator’s run for Malacañang, Bautista said there were “many ways” Estrada could return the favor to FPJ.

“Paying back to FPJ is more a matter of ensuring the memory of FPJ will always be in the minds of Filipinos,” he said, which he added Estrada has been doing.

Bautista pointed out that Binay has always been by Estrada’s side through all his political fights, as well as FPJ’s till the end.

“There was not a single instance that Binay left him. Where should the payback be?” he said, adding that he hopes Estrada would make a “political decision which would benefit the country.
”—With a report from Jovic Yee

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

PNoy to Grace Poe: Don't make impossible promises By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated September 17, 2015 - 3:10pm 2 378 googleplus0 0


EARLIER PHOTO, P-NOY WOOING GRACE TO BE MAR's VP - PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO.

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday reminded presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe not to make promises that are impossible to fulfill.

During a press briefing in Malacañang, Aquino said election candidates should respect the voting public by making statements and promises that are grounded on reality.

"Sana tulad ng pakiusap ko naman doon sa talagang oposisyon: Kapag magsalita tayo ibase natin sa katotohanan at 'yung pangako natin ilagay din natin sa katotohanan," Aquino said.

"Huwag nating ipangako 'yung langit at saka mga estrelya at saka 'yung buwan, kung hindi naman natin talagang kayang abutin iyon," he added.

Nevertheless, Aquino welcomed Poe's statement during the announcement of her candidacy last night that she will continue the reforms started by his administration.

Aquino also thanked the senator for recognizing his efforts in fighting corruption in government.

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"Kung talaga 'yon ang pakay po nila na ipagpatuloy bakit naman natin ikakagalit iyon? At ang taumbayan ang magdedesisyon sa tamang oras kung sino ba talaga ang magpapatuloy 'nung ating pagtahak dito sa 'Daang Matuwid,'" Aquino said.

In her speech at the University of the Philippines on Wednesday, Poe said no single group can continue Aquino's Daang Matuwid platform as she laid out the 20 goals of her presidency.

In response, Aquino challenged the senator to surpass the achievements of his administration.

"Siguro kung mapapaganda pa nila 'yung nagawa natin sino naman ang magagalit doon? Siguro ang susunod na tanong diyan: Ano ba ang gagawin ninyo na mas mahigitan pa 'yung ginagawa na namin ngayon?"

Aquino said ultimately, the voters will judge if Poe can sustain the gains of Daang Matuwid.

What is important, Aquino said, is that the country should not return to the crooked path after he steps down next year.

"Huwag naman sanang lumabas na itong limang taon na ito ay kumbaga nagkaroon lang tayo ng intermission, tapos babalik sa katotohanan na pangit. Dito na tayo, pagandahin na natin 'yung magandang nangyayari na sa atin," he said.


MANILA TIMES COMMENTARY

Again, the making of a myth: Erap’s last hurrah
September 17, 2015 10:56 pm RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO


by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

Senator Grace P. Llamanzares’ speech the other day “offering” herself as our next President was unexpectedly quite impressive. Her oratory would be the final nail on Manuel Roxas II political coffin, and for Vice President Jejomar Binay a loud wake-up call.

As the myth of Benigno Aquino 3rd as the prince of the Yellow Righteous Path has unraveled, comes another myth-making episode in our county’s political history—although the more precise term would be hoaxes-for-some-purported-noble-purpose.

A myth is a myth because the false pillars making it up aren’t easy to spot.

But we are fortunate that the gullible editors of an internet-only news outfit, rappler.com, wrote an introduction to the text of Llamanzares’ speech that conveniently allows us to uncover the elements of this new myth of the 'Avenging Daughter'.

The rappler.com introduction went as follows (emphasis mine):

“Senator Grace Poe declared on Wednesday night her presidential bid, promising to pursue the mission of her late father to help the poor. “I wanted to continue what my father FPJ had started,” said Poe.

Actor Fernando Poe J. ran for president in 2004, but he was widely believed to have been cheated by President Gloria Arroyo.

Political observers considered it proof of voters’ support for FPJ when Grace Poe topped the 2013 senatorial elections.

After the public noticed her fearless probe into anomalies in the management of the Metro Ra il Transit and the Philippine National Police, Poe started topping presidential preference surveys.”
The myth’s first false pillar: “She will pursue the mission of her late father to help the poor.”

 
Man behind the myth? Left, Mayor Estrada; right, Senator Llamanzares. Inset, “Best friends forever” young men Erap and FPJ.

Llamanzares’ adoptive father, Fernando Poe Jr. was by all accounts, even by my source who was very close to him, “a nice man”, a regular guy who was good to his friends.

But he just minded his own business, and his hobbies were to escape to his farm to work-out before movie shooting, and drinking cases of beer with friends in some Class B Chinese restaurant, as he loved Chinese food as his pulutan.

Like another celebrity Dolphy, he was never interested in politics, as his bosom friend Joseph Estrada was, and he never cared about social causes.

To claim he had a “life’s mission” to help the poor is to claim that Derek Ramsey is a Marxist revolutionary.

What did FPJ start?

Second fallacy of the myth: “I wanted to continue what my father started, “ Llamanzares said, referring to FPJ’s bid for the presidency in the 2004 elections.

Did FPJ in one of his beer-guzzling sessions in 2004 suddenly have a St. Paul-like revelation from the God Almighty, to repent and help the poor? Did he suddenly see his riches and fame as empty vanities of this world, and decided to lead the Philippines to prosperity?

I don’t think even the rappler.com editors would even believe that.

By 2003, the trial for plunder of FPJ’s closest friend, Joseph Estrada, was unexpectedly proceeding fast, with witnesses standing by their ground, documents presented, and the prosecution – manned by the best private trial lawyers – was pinning Estrada down in every hearing. He would be the very first person to be tried and convicted for plunder, and nobody doubted he would be convicted the penalty for which is lifetime imprisonment.

Undaunted by the mass attack on Malacanang, the so-called EDSA Tres, the INC’s requests for Estrada to be freed, and the coup attempts by megalomaniacs like now-senator Antonio Trillanes IV, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stood her ground, and made clear she would not interfere with the trial, although she did give Estrada the proper courtesy he deserved as a former President of the Republic.

Estrada had become despondent and desperate. He was becoming almost psychotic after the several episodes of a noisy helicopter landing by his stockade in the middle of the night to whisk him off to some secure secret place.

This was the SOP of the security forces whenever there was a coup attempt or even just rumors of a coup, according to them, to prevent Estrada from being some kind of rallying figure.

I was told at that time by several sources that Estrada begged FPJ: “Rani, kung manalo biling presidente si Gloria, mabubulok ako dito sa kulungan habang buhay. Kilala mo ako, mamamatay ako dito.” Estrada with misty eyes stared at FPJ and asked him, “Ikaw lang ang pwedeng tumalo kay Gloria. Wala kang gagastusin. Ako ang bahala. Tutal buhay ko ang nakasalalay dito.” (Rani, if Gloria [President Arroyo] wins [in the 2004 elections], I will rot in jail my whole life. You know me, I will die here. It is only you who can defeat Arroyo. You will not spend anything, I’ll take care of all the expenses. After all, my life is at stake here.”)



“With God’s grace?” Or Estrada’s?

Despite his wife Susan’s and all of his friends’ objections (with some kind of prescience one of his friends even warned him he could die in the pressures of the campaign), FPJ gave in to Estrada’s pleadings.

One source however said it wasn’t entirely out of friendship: FPJ had been telling friends that he was sad his box-office appeal seemed to be fading, as young Filipinos were tired of Filipino action movies and had come to prefer romance drama.

Mission: Free Estrada

FPJ’s mission was to free his bosom friend Estrada. That it was to help the poor is hogwash.

The Third fallacy in the myth: “FP was widely believed to have been cheated by President Gloria Arroyo.” This is a lie rappler.com has been repeating in every single news report on Llamanzares.

How could FPJ win when he refused to participate in the presidential debate everyone was calling for?

How could he win when he didn’t want to be interviewed that editors and reporters started to hate him, and especially after he lost his temper when he scolded a TV broadcaster before a camera with him (FPJ) speaking as a background?

How could FPJ win, when the entire EDSA II forces – that is, nearly all of the elite – threw their resources against FPJ’s elections, knowing that if he won, Estrada would be released, and come back to power with a vengeance?

Several businessmen and leaders of EDSA II, aware of the killing during Estrada’s regime of such personalities as publicist Bubby Dacer and the Pagcor employee Robert Bentain, who had leaked the CCTV tapes of Estrada playing poker in the casino and even told me they feared for their lives if he came back to power.

That “Hello, Garci” thing?

If Garcellano did the 2004 cheating, wouldn’t that have been proven in the last five years by a president so obsessed in keeping Arroyo in jail and demonizing her.

The truth is that Garcellano was already a has-been at that time and already had an infamous reputation that he had become a pariah in the Comelec and in Mindanao. To her regret though, Arroyo wanted to complain to Garcellano about reports that FPJ’s forces had managed to cheat in Maguindanao, the Comelec official’s bastion.

Arroyo’s running mate Noli de Castro had a mass following, even as FPJ’s popularity had actually been fading fast with the youth, most of whom had never seen his films. The INC threw their support behind Arroyo which meant – as exist pols would reveal – a solid 800,000 vote for her.

Of course the El Shaddai and Catholic Church organizations supported Arroyo, knowing that FPJ was just a proxy of a womanizing, drunkard president who was being tried for plunder.

Three pre-election surveys by the Social Weather Station and PulseAsia showed Arroyo leading by 6-7 percentage points or 3 to 4 million votes. I would think it was Arroyo who was cheated.

And these rappler.com editors claim FPJ “was widely believed to have been cheated by Arroyo.” Where on earth were these people in those years?

The fourth fallacy in the myth-making exercise, which however unwittingly reveals Llamanzares’ political clout: “Political observers considered it proof of voters’ support for FPJ when Grace Poe topped the 2013 senatorial elections,” the rappler.com nonsense put it.

There here were indeed 11.8 million Filipinos who voted for FPJ, 1.1 million less than the 12.9 million who voted for Arroyo, according to the official Comelec results.

While you may call it “voters’ support,” it only demonstrated celebrity power that subverts democracy. How could they vote for FPJ when he hardly said a word on what he would do as president?

Voting for Panday


FPJ in 'ANG PANDAY' KOMIKS

They were voting for Panday, not FPJ, who after all they knew practically nothing about, other than his being wed to another celebrity star Susan Roces and was San Miguel beer’s most popular endorser.

They were voting for that comic strip hero in Spandex pants and with a magical sword, or that jeepney driver who always had a cheap face-towel slung around his neck, not for the beer-guzzler who was fond of Boss and Prada jeans and lived in the posh Greenhills Village.

It is the same confusion over what’s real and what’s in the movies that got Llamanzares the most number of votes in the Senate race, not some intelligent choice on who should be the best president.

It is also involves that thing called “name-recall.” Even if voters tried to evaluate the qualification of each and every candidate for the Senate, almost always they would be left with three to four empty slots for senator in the ballot. But the household name “Poe” will pop up in their heads, and with the feeling that they don’t want to waste their vote, write Poe in one of the blank lines.

Llamanzares though is certainly a big improvement over her father, first in terms of her oratorical skills, which she learned in participating in debate clubs in college. The fact that her mother is an actress is also an asset, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she went through acting classes recently for her to emote so well as she did when she gave her speech.

Llamanzares would be able to do what FPJ couldn’t: She will eat both Roxas and Binay alive in a presidential debate.

Her second improvement: advised obviously by the wily Senator Francis Escudero, she has built her persona beyond the FPJ-daughter image. “The public noticed her fearless probe into anomalies in the management of the Metro Rail Transit and the Philippine National Police, Poe started topping presidential preference surveys,” the rappler.com gushed over her.

But did she do anything to expose the corruption in the MRT-3 that is the cause of its horrible condition and require it to undertake changes to improve its services?

More intriguingly, why did she not report to the Senate itself the findings of her committee on the Mamasapano massacre, so it could be a Senate-adopted report?

In these two investigations, was she just at that time nudging Aquino to choose her as his candidate and junk Roxas?

Myths put our rational mind in check, and provoke even among the educated emotional responses.

I’m sure Llamanzares the other day got many in audience to have misty eyes.

Myths serve to make us believe the unlikely, that this lady who renounced her country of birth (and of adoption) has come from the other side of the world to be the president of that nation and save it.)

But we’ve been there before, have done that–or have we easily forgotten Aquino 3rd in 2010?

Aquino 3rd’s myth was that he was Cory’s revenge against Arroyo for not stepping down when she demanded so in 2005 with the voices of the Hyatt 10.

This time it is not really FPJ’s revenge, but Estrada’s. He has brought Llamanzares to the INC to convince it to support her. He introduced her in a party for FPJ’s birthday as the “next President.” He has reportedly asked his usual Chinese business supporters like William Gatchalian to build her campaign kitty.

A wily fox Estrada continues to be, he didn’t appear in Llamanzares’ coming-out party. But when Congressman Ronaldo Zamora, his biggest business supporter William Gatchalian (represented by his son), and the actors and actresses are there, it is Erap’s party.

I’d be very worried if I were Aquino. Did he think Erap would take likely his son’s jailing, and just be happy with being Manila mayor?

Llamanzares is Erap’s revenge and last hurrah.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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