Grace Poe courts vote-rich Cavite
CAVITE, Philippines – Presidential bet Grace Poe visited the vote-rich province of Cavite on Thursday, March 17, and received the "full support" of the Revilla family.
Vice Governor Jolo Revilla, outgoing Representative Lani Mercado, and outgoing Bacoor City Mayor Strike Revilla welcomed Poe, running mate Francis Escudero, and their senatorial slate to the province and the city.
"We welcome Grace Poe to the city of Bacoor. We are openly endorsing her as our presidential candidate," Mercado told reporters in a chance interview in Bacoor City.
Mercado said the endorsement has the blessing of her husband, Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr, who is in detention for corruption charges over the pork barrel issue. (READ: On bended knees, Jolo Revilla begs Caviteños to support Poe)
The Revillas are part of LAKAS-CMD, allies of then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. But the Revillas said the endorsement is only a family decision.
LAKAS-CMD co-chairman Danilo Suarez earlier said Arroyo asked her allies to support Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Poe, for her part, thanked the family for supporting her.
The two families' ties go a long way back. Fernando Poe Jr and the Revilla patriarch, Ramon Revilla Sr, did several action movies in the 1980s. FPJ was also the godfather of one of Senator Bong Revilla's children.
"Oo naman, nagsama naman sila sa pelikula – I mean, sa mundo ng pelikula. Meron naman… Matagal na magkaibigan," Poe said.
(Of course, they were together in the movie industry. They've been friends for a long time.)
In fact, Mercado said their endorsement of Poe is a sign of love for the late action star, FPJ.
"Ito 'yung pagpapatunay sa naiwan naming pagmamahal at pangako sa aming ninong na si Fernando Poe Jr. Naniniwala rin kami sa plataporma ni Grace Poe at sa kalinisan ng kanyang hangarin," she said.
(This is proof of our remaining love and promise to our godfather Fernando Poe Jr. We also believe in Grace Poe's platform and the purity of her intentions.)
The province is a known bailiwick of Vice President Jejomar Binay. In the 2010 vice presidential race, Binay won with 481,331 votes over Manuel "Mar" Roxas II's 385,695 votes.
Cavite, with 1,843,163 voters, is the 2nd most vote-rich province next to Cebu.
Binay is backed by the Remulla family, who is also allied with the Revillas in the provincial level. Jolo Revilla is running again for vice governor under the Remullas' Magdalo party.
But Jolo sees no problem with this. After all, he said it is up to Caviteños to decide.
"Ang lalawigan naman ng Cavite wala namang pwedeng magsabi kung kanino sya, kung sino pwede mag-angkin dyan. Ito po ay para sa tao at ang tao ang magdedesisyon kung sino ang kanilang iboboto pero ako, sa aking prinsipyo ang dapat manalo sa pagkapresidente ay ang haligi ng gobyernong may puso," he said.
(The province of Cavite, no one can say who owns it. This is for the people and the people are going to decide whom to vote for. But for me, based on my principles, the foundation of Gobyernong may Puso should win the presidency.)
Poe shared the same sentiment. She topped the senatorial race in Cavite in 2013, with nearly 700,000 votes.
"Ang sinasabi ko naman, ang ating inaabot talaga ay ang ating mga kababayan. Maganda kung meron tayong suporta mula sa local government pero siyempre walang garantiya 'yon. Ang alam ko 'nung 2013, mataas din ako sa Cavite kung hindi man ako ang nanguna din dito sa Cavite," Poe said.
(What I'm saying is, we are reaching out to the people. It's good that we have support from the local government but of course that is not a guarantee. In 2013, I know I ranked high in Cavite, if not the top candidate here.)
Aside from her 2013 win, Poe is banking on the legacy of her father FPJ. As in other sorties, she made sure to mention her father, saying he loved the province and its people.
"Matagal na rin ang kasaysayan ng mga Caviteño na nanonood ng pelikula ng aking ama, at naaalala din nila 'yon. So kung ano man ang suportang mabibigay ng local government, kami ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat," she said.
(There is a long history of Caviteños watching movies of my father and they remember that. So whatever support the local government can give, we wholeheartedly accept it.) – Rappler.com
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