Grace Poe for 2016? ‘No plans at all,’ she says

Carmela Fonbuena

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Grace Poe for 2016? ‘No plans at all,’ she says
Is she or isn't she? Senator Grace Poe's privilege speech on October 27 fuels political chatter about her presidential ambitions.

MANILA, Philippines – Neophyte Senator Grace Poe humored reporters on Tuesday, October 28, as she was bombarded with questions about a possible presidential run in the 2016 elections.

“I will miss the Senate media,” she teased Senate reporters in a chat before the session began. 

Asked later for a categorical answer to questions about 2016, she replied: “No plans at all.”

The questions came a day after Poe delivered a privilege speech calling for a “re-engineering” of the government’s action against hunger and malnutrition in the Philippines. She cited the “Altanghap” campaign of her late father, which seeks food for many hungry Filipinos. Altanghap is Filipino shortcut for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  (READ: Poe: Children suffer from hunger, poverty scars

Poe is the daughter of the “Action King” of Philippine movies, the late Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ), who ran for president in 2004 but lost to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the final tally. The “Hello, Garci” controversy would later reveal that Arroyo called an election official about her votes, suggesting that she cheated to win the elections. Arroyo apologized for the phone call but denied that she cheated to defeat Poe. 

No big deal

The election gossip mill sizzled Monday after the senator’s speech, precisely because of the mention of “Altanghap,” which was one of FPJ’s campaign lines.

President Benigno Aquino III is stepping down in 2016, and the election landscape is still free for all. Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has declared his plans this early, is caught in a huge corruption scandal while President Aquino’s apparent choice, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, continues to lag behind in surveys. (READ: Grace Poe-Leni Robredo for 2016? and Even with Aquino endorsement, more prefer Poe over Roxas

Poe said reporters should not make a big deal out of her speech, reminding them that she used that campaign line when she ran for the Senate in 2013.

Siyempre lahat tayo may pinanggagalingan. Ang pinanggagalingan ko ‘yung sa tatay ko. Nakita naman niya kung gaano kahirap kung walang suporta yung gobyerno. Ginamit ko rin yun nung 2013. Pangako ko yun. Tinutupad ko lang ang pangako ko,” she said. (We all have our roots. In my case that’s my father. You should know how difficult it is [to wage a campaign against hunger] without government support. I also used that [slogan] in 2013. I’m merely fulfilling a campaign promise.)

Huwag ninyo i-issue ang altanghap. Siyempre ginamit ko lang kasi maganda naman talaga pakinggan,” she added. (Don’t read too much into it. I also used that in 2013.) – Carmela Fonbuena/


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