Grace Poe torn between Ejercitos, Zamoras in San Juan
PANGASINAN, Philippines – They say blood is thicker than water. But in politics, it is not as simple as that.
In the case of presidential bet Grace Poe and the heated local politics in San Juan, she has to choose between the two. Who will she pick – her longtime family friends, the Ejercitos, or her relatives, the Zamoras?
The late action star Fernando Poe Jr and former president Joseph Estrada were best of friends. In fact, Estrada said, that's what made him decide to endorse his goddaughter for president.
But Poe is related to the Zamora family through her husband Neil Llamanzares. Llamanzares and Vice Mayor Francis Zamora's wife Keri are cousins.
Estrada built his political career in San Juan and had been allied with Representative Ronaldo Zamora – another key Poe supporter – but they had a falling out in 2015. Ronaldo Zamora was the former executive secretary of the former president. (READ: Ex-Estrada ally declares bid to 'end dynasty' in San Juan)
But now, Vice Mayor Zamora is running against Estrada's partner, reelectionist Mayor Guia Gomez. Gomez's running mate is Senator Jinggoy Estrada's daughter, Janella Ejercito.
For the congressional race, reelectionist congressman Zamora is fighting it out against Jana Ejercito.
Poe was tightlipped when asked who her preferred mayoral candidate is.
"Wala pa naman. Basta, hindi ganito, importante lamang kasi si Mayor Guia naglahad na ng pagsuporta niya [kay Mar Roxas]," she told reporters in a chance interview in Santa Maria town on Wednesday, March 30.
(None yet. Anyway, what's important is Mayor Guia already announced her support for Mar Roxas.)
She added: "Bagama't sila'y nananatiling [parang] aming pamilya, 'di naman mapagkakaila rin na kamag-anak rin ng aking asawa ang kanyang katunggali. Sa ngayon ang importante ay mag-ikot sa buong Pilipinas at ipahayag ang aming plataporma. Ikaw man ay dilaw, pula, o asul, kapag sa aking administrasyon kung nakakatulong ka kasama ka namin."
(While the Ejercitos are like family to us, it cannot be denied that Mayor Gomez's opponent is my husband's relative. What's important now is to go around the whole Philippines and inform the people about our platforms. Whether you are yellow, red, or blue, if you can help my administration, you are with us.)
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- 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections
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- 2016 Philippine Local Elections