PANGASINAN — After kicking off her campaign in Manila’s historic Plaza Miranda, leading presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe staged her first provincial rally in San Carlos City in Pangasinan, hometown of her famous father, the late movie icon, Fernando Poe Jr.
“Inaalay ko sa inyo, mga taga-Pangasinan, ang pagtakbo kong ito. Dahil sa inyo na hindi sumuko sa pagsuporta sa aming pamilya, ako’y nagkaroon ng lakas para itaas ang antas ng buhay ng ating mga kabababayan,” Poe, the lone independent candidate for the highest post of the land, told supporters who gathered at the Department of Education Central 1 in San Carlos City Friday night.
Poe said the values that were passed on to her by her father would spell the difference between her and other presidential candidates who have more political experience.
“Ang pagiging tapat na lider na nagbibigay ng magandang halimbawa–iyan ang natutunan ko sa aking ama at ina,” she said. “Ang tinuro sa’kin ng aking tatay ay huwag susuko at ipaglaban ang tama, mga katangian ng matapang pero hindi mayabang. Natutunan din niya ito sa kanyang mga ninuno dito sa Pangasinan,”
Poe said she would fulfill her father’s dreams for the Philippines if she wins the presidency,.
“Ang mga pangarap niya para sa inyo at sa ating mga Pilipino ay mabigyan lahat ng pantay-pantay na pagkakataon,” she said.
FPJ, who hails from San Carlos City, ran for president in 2004. Despite being the most popular candidate, he lost to incumbent president Gloria Arroyo who has been accused of organizing massive electoral fraud.
Thousands of allies delivered more than 805,000 votes for Poe when she ran for the Senate in 2013. Pangasinan has more than 1.7 million registered voters.
Under “Gobyernong may Puso,” Poe said Filipinos can expect leaders to put the interests of marginalized Filipinos first. She vowed to help farmers and fishermen, to create jobs, and to provide free education under their platform anchored on “Kabuhayan, Karunungan at Kaligtasan.”
“Interes ninyo ang unang isusulong; hindi kami magnanakaw. Wala akong karanasan sa pangungurakot, ang akin lamang ay tapat na serbisyo,” Poe said.
The senator also addressed her rivals’ frequent criticism of her being a newbie in politics.
“May nagsabi na ako’y bago lang, wala ngang bahid pero walang alam, dahil ang aking karanasan ay pagiging teacher, hindi daw sapat yun para maging pinuno ng ating mga bansa. Sino sa inyo dito ang makakarating sa inyo paroroonan nang hindi dumadaan sa inyong mga guro?” Poe said.
Poe was in Pangasinan with her running mate, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, and the senatorial bets under “Partido Galing at Puso.” They met with students and local officials of Dagupan, Calasiao and San Carlos cities.
“Hinihingi ko ang tulong ninyo para sa mga kasama ko ngayon. Si Senator Chiz na matalino, magaling, at may paninindigan, na hindi iniwan ang aking ama,” Poe said.
Escudero served as the spokesperson of FPJ in 2004 and has been a close family friend of the Poes since. He and Poe have also worked together to push for legislation such as the Freedom of Information bill and free meals for children in public schools.#