Susan Roces angry over ‘oppression’ vs Grace Poe

Camille Elemia
Susan Roces angry over ‘oppression’ vs Grace Poe

Arnold Almacen

'Ramdam na ramdam na sobra na ang pang-aapi! At dapat ng tapusin 'yan! Sabi nga ni FPJ, dapat nang kalusin,' the veteran actress says at her daughter's rally in Iloilo

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – It was her first time to join the campaign sorties of her daughter, and Susan Roces made sure she got the message across.

At an evening rally in Jaro, Iloilo, on Tuesday, February 16, the veteran actress expressed anger over the “oppression” against presidential bet Senator Grace Poe.

“Ramdam na ramdam na sobra na ang pang-aapi! At dapat nang tapusin ‘yan! Sabi nga ni FPJ, dapat nang kalusin,” a feisty Roces told Ilonggos, borrowing a reference from one of the blockbuster movies of her late husband, Fernando Poe Jr.

(Too much oppression! And it should be stopped! Like what FPJ said, it should be changed.)

Roces recounted how she was hesitant about Poe’s presidential bid. After all, she said, she needs her daughter’s attention, as she is a senior citizen. But she said she knew Poe is fighting for something bigger.

“Dahil nakikita ko sa kanyang mata at pagiging masigasig sa kanyang laban dahil ang ‘pinaglalaban n’ya hindi lang sarili n’ya kundi karapatan ng mga foundlings at mga karapatan ng mga inaapi!” Roces said.

(Because I see in her eyes and her persistence in this battle, she is fighting not just for herself but for the rights of foundlings and those oppressed!)

Poe is facing the risk of disqualification over issues of citizenship – that, as a foundling and a former American citizen, she not considered natural-born Filipino – and residency. (READ: TIMELINE: Grace Poe’s citizenship, residency)

Roces, Poe’s adoptive mother, maintained Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen as a foundling. She recalled how Poe was found at the Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo with her umbilical cord still attached.

“Ang masasabi ko ay ito: s’ya ay Pilipino, s’ya ay anak ko. Ang kanyang mga magulang ay si Ronald Allan Poe (FPJ) at Jesusa Poe (Roces),” Roces said.

(All I can say is this: she is a Filipino, she is my daughter. Her parents are Ronald Allan Poe and Jesusa Poe.)

“Di man galing si Grace sa aking sinapupunan, s’ya ay laging nasa aking puso. May mga ibang nagsasabi o nagkukuwestyon na hindi daw s’ya dapat maging pangulo dahil di raw sya Pilipino. Eh ano s’ya, basta lang nag-landing lang s’ya dito?” she added.

(She may not have come from my womb, but she is always in my heart. There are others who are saying, questioning, that she should not become president because she is not Filipino. Then what is she? Did she just land here out of nowhere?)

Early morning Tuesday, Roces visited public markets in the city to seek support for Poe and her team in the province widely known as a stronghold of the Liberal Party.

Poe said her mother, 74, would play an active role in the campaign just as she did in the 2013 senatorial elections and during the 2004 presidential campaign of FPJ. 

Grace Poe topped the 2013 polls nationwide. Her father, FPJ, lost to then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in an election marred by allegations of systematic and massive fraud. – 

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a former multimedia reporter for Rappler. She covered media and disinformation, the Senate, the Office of the President, and politics.