QUEZON CITY, Philippines - Senatorial candidate Grace Poe said her family is still loyal to former President Joseph Estrada, despite a local chapter of Filipinos for Peace, Justice and Progress Movement (FPJPM) expressing support to his rival in the local polls, re-electionist Mayor Alfredo Lim.
"Wala 'yun. (It's nothing.) First of all, FPJPM have different chapters and each chapter will give its members the right to choose in their locality who they want to support. The president of that did not attend the press con because it's not a national endorsement," she told Rappler on April 20, Saturday.
Poe said they value the good relationship they have with the former president more over political alliances.
"Syempre naiipit pero para sa akin, matimbang talaga ang matagal na pakikipagkaibigan. Siyempre may mga bagay-bagay na pulitika. (Of course, I do feel I'm caught in the middle but we put more weight on the long friendship we have. There are some things that are mere politics.)"
Despite this, she thanked Lim for the kindness he has shown to the Poes.
"Si Mayor Lim naging mabait naman sa aming pamilya. (Mayor Lim has been good to our family.) We really thank him that he erected a statue of FPJ in Roxas Boulevard," she said.
"But there's no denying that Erap is a good friend of my dad and in deference to him, I'm concentrating on the national campaign."
Poe added that she does not have the right to interfere with the local race in Manila, especially that they do not live there. She said that she would always be thankful that Estrada still endorsed her bid for the senate seat despite being dropped as guest candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Poe wished Estrada good health "and to continue to look good as he does and may his dreams come true" on his 76th birthday. - Rappler.com