Poe to push for law despite help from 'dynasties'
CAMARINES SUR, Philippines – Presidential bet Grace Poe sees nothing wrong with receiving support from members of political dynasties, even as she vowed to support the passage of an anti-dynasty law.
It is high time, she said, for Congress to clearly define what a political dynasty is, and what degrees of relationship and government posts the law covers.
On Friday, April 15, Poe visited Pili and Iriga City in the province of Camarines Sur and was welcomed by the father and son tandem of LRay and Governor Migz Villafuerte. The Villafuerte family has been in power in the province for 3 decades now.
Asked about the apparent contradiction, Poe said her ties with political families, like her colleagues in the Senate, do not mean she would oppose the measure's passage.
“Kahit naman sa Kongreso o sa Senado katrabaho natin sila. Di naman nangangahulugan na pagdating sa punto na gagawin ang batas ay di na patas," she told reporters in a chance interview in Pili on Friday, April 15. (Even in Congress and the Senate, we are colleagues. It does not mean that when the bill will be created, we will not be fair.)
"Para sa atin kasama natin sila sa trabaho, wala silang issue ng anomalya o ano pa mang ginawa laban sa ating bansa. Bigyan sila ng due process kung meron man. Pero pag dating sa botohan sa dynasty kung malilinawan kung ano ba talaga ang hangganan ng dynasty, papairalin natin yan,” Poe said.
(We are together in government service, they don't have any issues pertaining to anomalies or anything done against the country. They should be given due process, if there are any. But when it comes to voting on the anti-dynasty law, if the parameters will be cleared, we will implement that.)
LRay’s father Luis started the Villafuerte dynasty in 2016. But the two had a falling out in 2013, with the gubernatorial race a face-off between grandson Migz and the Villafuerte patriarch.
LRay has been the subject of several graft, corruption and plunder charges for alleged malversation of public funds. He is now running for Congress. His son Migz is seeking reelection as governor.
The senator maintained she is all out for the anti-dynasty measure and cited her support for the Sangguniang Kabataan reform bill as proof. She said others should be given a chance to serve.
“Ako ay nagtutulak din nyan. Yung ating SK reform bill, ang kauna-unahang anti-dynasty bill na ating sinuportahan din sapagka't dun talaga nakalagay (na) nag-uumpisa na sa mga bata. Pag may kamag-anak ka na nasa gobyerno 'di puwede," she said.
(I am also pushing for that. Our SK reform bill, the first ever anti-dynasty bill that I supported because it is there where they said it starts with the youth. If you have a relative in government, you cannot run.)
She expressed optimism that members of political families would push the law to, once and for all, clarify what dynasties are.
“Sa tingin ko kahit kasama natin matagal na rin sa pulitika, sa ikabubuti ng bansa susuportahan na nila na sa pagkakataon na ito linawin na natin ano ang dynasty. Kahit ako naniniwala na dapat naman bigyan din ng pagkakataon ang iba dahil ako ay di naman isang bunga ng dynasty,” Poe said.
(I think even if our friends are already veterans in politics, in the interest of our nation, they will support this chance to clarify what a dynasty is. Even I believe that others should be given the opportunity because I am not a product of a dynasty.)
It is Poe's 2nd visit to the province since declaring her presidential bid in 2015. In both cases, she went to the most vote-rich province in the Bicol region without her running mate Senator Francis Escudero, who already went to the province a week ago.
LRay and Migz Villafuerte reiterated their support for Poe and vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo of the ruling Liberal Party. The patriarch Luis, however, is supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay.
"Well taga sa'min si Leni Robredo dito sa Camarines Sur, syempre bilang isang kababayan tinutulungan namin ang kasama natin. Kumbaga sabi, tulungan ang kasama natin dito sa lugar, so yun po ang desisyon," LRay told reporters in a chance interview in Pili.
(Well, Leni Robredo is from Camarines Sur. Of course as a townmate, we will help her. We will help someone from our area, so that's our decision.)
In a speech in Iriga City, Poe lauded LRay for boosting the tourism industry in Camarines Sur. She then promised voters she would boost the infrastructure in the province, to lessen the traffic between cities. The senator also vowed to modernize the provincial hospital and provide free hospitalization for the poor.
Camarines Sur has the bulk of voters in the Bicol region, with more than 1 million registered voters. – Rappler.com
Who won in the 2016 Philippine elections?
Check out the 2016 official election results through the link below:
- 2016 official election results for Presidential, Vice Presidential, Senatorial, and Party list elections
Check out the 2016 unofficial election results for the national and local races through the links below
- 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections
- 2016 Philippine Vice Presidential Elections
- 2016 Philippine Senatorial Elections
- 2016 Philippine Congressional Elections
- 2016 Party List Elections
- 2016 Philippine Local Elections