'Nagparamdam si FPJ,' Grace Poe says after Arroyo speakership
(UPDATED) Even the dead sent a warning, said Senator Grace Poe.
Poe said her father, the late action star Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ), made his presence felt a day before his ex-rival, former president and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was installed as House Speaker. (READ: 'Disheartening,' Grace Poe says of Gloria Arroyo's rise to Speaker)
Poe could not hide her emotions when reporters interviewed her last Monday, July 23, about Arroyo's new post. She would not even entertain questions about how her mother felt about it. “Huwag na lang tayong pumunta diyan, ibang bagay ‘yun napakapersonal (Let's not go there. It's a different mtter, very personal),” she said, her voice breaking.
She said she felt her father's presence while all this was happening. “Basta hindi ko nga maintindihan, nagparamdam ang tatay ko sa akin (I could not understand it. My father made his presence felt to me),” she said without elaborating.
Arroyo won over FPJ in the 2004 presidential election, a race that various sectors accused Arroyo of rigging. FPJ died a broken man 7 months after that election.
On the eve of the SONA, Poe said she received a framed news article containing celebrities’ support for her father in the 2004 polls.
“Sa lahat ng araw imagine, ilang taon na ito, dinala niya 'yung frame parang statement of support ng iba’t ibang artista na lumabas sa diyaryo, binigay the eve ng SONA. Bago itong lumabas itong si GMA,” Poe said in a separate interview.
(Imagine of all days, and this was many years ago already, we got the frame with statements of support from different celebrities, these came out in newspapers, on the eve of the SONA. Before the news of GMA as Speaker came out.)
“Sabi ko: Anong sign ito (I said: What sign is this)? I know my dad would not have wanted it for himself. Just be vigilant, hindi pa tapos, balik na naman tayo (It’s not yet over. We’re going back to the streets),” she said.
In 2005, Poe returned to the country from the United States, where she lived, and became a key personality in anti-Arroyo protests. That year witnessed the "Hello, Garci" scandal, which leaked a telephone conversation between Arroyo and elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano during the 2004 election.
Poe ran for the Senate in 2013, topping that election. In 2016, she ran for president but lost to President Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: Grace Poe: I’ll let courts, doctors decide on Gloria Arroyo)
Poe said Arroyo, once sickly at the height of the cases filed against her, seemed to have fooled the public again.
“Noong eleksyon, tinanong ako [kung] ako ba ay sangayon na siya ay magpagamot. Bilang isang tao na may simpatya, bilang isang Kristiyano, oo naman di ba dahil mukha naman talagang may sakit eh,” Poe said.
(During the election, I was asked if I would allow her to undergo treatment. As a human and Christian, I said yes, because she really looked sick then.)
“Tapos bigla na lang ngayon, makikita mo eh para niloko na naman tayong lahat. Para tuloy nawawala ang simpatiya mo….Pero ngayon sabi ko ganoong klase, nakadalawa ka na….Ngayon pangatlo na, baka kailangan nang kalusin,” Poe added.
(But all of a sudden, you now see her – and it's like, we were fooled again. I'm losing sympathy. Now, I said if that's the case, you already did it twice. Now is the third time, it should be stopped.)
She was referring to her mother's famous statement in 2005, when she said – addressing Arroyo – that “the gravest thing you have done is that you have stolen the presidency, not once, but twice.”
Arroyo first became president in 2001, when then President Joseph Estrada was ousted in a civilian-backed military revolt. – Rappler.com
Inside Track is Rappler's intelligencer on people, events, places and everything of public interest. It's a take-off from Newsbreak's Inside Track section. Contributions are most welcome. Just send bits of information to email@example.com.