Susan Roces campaigns for Grace Poe in Iloilo

Susan Roces campaigns for Grace Poe in Iloilo
The 74-year-old actress tours public markets to seek voters' support for her daughter and her candidates before joining the team in a rally at the Jaro plaza

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – For the first time, actress Susan Roces joined the campaign of her daughter, presidential bet Senator Grace Poe in Iloilo province, where Poe was found nearly 48 years ago.

The 74-year-old Roces toured public markets and urged voters to vote for Poe, her running mate, Senator Francis Escudero, and their senatorial slate.

“Narito ako, hinihiling ko ang suporta ninyo sa darating na halalan para kay Grace, Chiz at sa lahat ng senatorial candidates nila….Ibabahagi nila sa inyo kung ano ang kanilang plataporma at kung sa inaakala niyong naaayon sa mga hiling ninyo, iboto po niyo sila,” Roces urged Ilonggos.

(I am now here asking for your support in the coming elections for Grace, Chiz and all their senatorial candidates. They will share their platforms with you and if you think they are in accordance with your own goals, vote for them.)

The veteran actress visited La Paz and Iloilo Central markets, where she was swarmed by vendors, tricycle drivers, mothers, and buyers, among others.

People shouted “Lola Kap” – her character in a television show – and asked her for hugs and selfies. 

Upon seeing Roces, people immediately looked for Poe, who could not join her mother as she was in radio interviews.

“Nasaan si Grace Poe? (Where is Grace Poe?) asked one vendor. 

Roces, in response, said they would see Poe in the afternoon at Jaro plaza for a rally.

Asked why she chose to join her daughter in the province, she said, “Sasamahan ko naman siya sa iba pero ito lang inuna namin kasi dito nga siya nagmula (I will join her in other places but we just prioritized this because this is where she came from).”

Poe, who was found abandoned at the Jaro Cathedral in 1968, was eventually adopted by celebrity couple Roces and the late actor Fernando Poe Jr.

Don’t give up

Asked about Poe’s possible disqualification, Roces said she leaves the decision up to the Lord. She stressed that it also happened to their family when her husband faced a similar challenge before the Supreme Court in 2004, when he ran for president.

But for her, it’s clear that Poe could get past this hurdle. “Naniniwala ako malalampasan niya (I believe she will get past this).”

“Well I guess it’s part of politics. Nangyari na rin yan sa asawa ko noon, iba nga lang ang kaso. Marahil bahala na ang Panginoon kung ano gusto niyang mangyari katulad ng pangyayari na dumating sa buhay namin si Grace. Di namin hiniling dumating siya sa buhay namin. Kung ano loloobin ng Diyos, iyon ang masusunod,” she said.

(It also happened to my husband before, only it was a different case. It’s all up to the Lord now whatever He wants to happen, like when Grace arrived in our life. We did not ask for it but she came into our lives. Whatever God wills, it will be followed.)

Roces admitted getting hurt by attacks against her daughter, maintaining that Poe, a foundling, is a natural-born Filipino citizen. But she said prayers help her cope with the issues against her daughter.

Bilang isang ina, habang binabatikos si Grace nasasaktan ako. Alam ko ang mga kapwa ina katulad ko mararamdaman din ‘yon. Alam nila ano pinagdadaanan ko. Lagi lang nagdadasal kasi ang Diyos lang nakakaalam,” Poe said.

(As a mother, I get hurt everytime Grace is criticized. I know fellow mothers would feel the same way. They know what I am going through. I just always pray because only God knows.)

Roces, meanwhile, refused to give a message to her daughter’s detractors.

“Di ko alam at wala naman ako gustong sabihin pa. Kung meron man, pwede ko sabihin in private (I don’t know and I don’t want to say anything else. If there are, I’d rather say it in private),” Roces said. –

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