“I will continue what my father has started.” This is the pledge of the late action king Fernando Poe Jr.’s daughter Grace Poe who is now running for senator as an independent under Team Pnoy. Her campaign advertisement describes her as respectful and kind. Would she be an ideal senator for a country that needs a new breed of politicians?
Poe, the adopted child of Fernando Poe, Jr. and actress Susan Roces, graduated from Boston College in the US with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She also finished two years of Development Studies at UP Manila. While in UPM, Poe was elected as chairperson of the College Freshman Assembly (1986–1987) and Sophomore Batch Representative to the Student Council (1987–1988). She co-founded the Filipino Cultural Club of Boston College.
While in the US, Poe worked as a teacher, a product liaison officer, and a product manager. In 2005, Poe returned to settle in the Philippines when the King, her father, died.
After Fernando Poe Jr. was defeated by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo allegedly because of massive cheating during the 2004 presidential election, Poe was actively involved in the many protests against electoral fraud.
In 2010, when President Benigno S. Aquino III took office, Poe was appointed to head the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) until she resigned last year to pursue her father’s dream for the Filipino people and decided to run in this year’s senatorial elections.
In many profiles written about Poe, she admitted that her popularity emanated from her famous parents. She also admitted that Aquino appointed her to the MTRCB also because of her parents. Even as a political neophyte, Poe ranked high in election surveys, which, analysts attribute to popular sympathy for her father.
According to an article, prior to the start of the election season, Poe only ranked 28th in a preliminary survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in mid-2012. This was before the start of the filing period in October last year. After filing her candidacy, Poe initially ranked fifteenth in the first survey published by StratPOLLS. In January this year, Poe has entered the top 12. While in the latest survey by Pulse Asia last April, Poe ranked third.
In her website, Poe said that her platform is based on his father’s social covenant: poverty alleviation, opportunities for children and electoral reform.
She said that to alleviate poverty, “economic growth” should also benefit the poor. “This growth will happen in an environment of macroeconomic stability, with investment-friendly policies, and supported by infrastructure development and timely capability-building interventions.
Poe added that there should be good governance as “the key to make government an effective tool for poverty alleviation.” Being a candidate under Team Liberal, Poe said she supports the Aquino administration’s “tuwid na daan” (righteous path) as the benchmark in Philippine political and economic life.
She also supports the neo-liberal policy to poverty alleviation such as the 4Ps (Pantawid Para sa Pamilyang Pilipino) or Conditional Cash Transfer to the poor.
Poe would also want to alleviate poverty by developing and promoting a culture that “liberates people from hopelessness, generates intolerance of corruption, revives passion for the common good, and enhances awareness of the nation’s heritage.” She said that if given the chance to be a senator, she would provide more incentives to independent producers who capture Filipino values in their films and strengthen government agencies that protect the Philippine film industry.
Meanwhile, Poe believes that the government should support teachers in shaping the future of the Filipino children. “I would like to ensure that their welfare is also protected especially when it comes to their salary, benefits, professional development and job security.” Poe said in her website.
In an article, she said she is for responsible mining. The article read, “As the profit in the mining industry is huge, Poe stated, the excise tax on extracted minerals should be increased to finance vital infrastructures like hospitals and health centers in the affected communities.”
Poe supports the RH Bill to provide women the right to choose from a variety of contraceptives available that are not abortifacient.
Poe also believes that there is nothing wrong with political dynasties for as long the family members have the ability to govern. In an article, she said that if politics is the chosen career of the family, then so be it. Like if there is a family of doctors, engineers, nurses, teachers, then there is also a family of politicians.