Last March 8, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled in the highly controversial disqualification case against aspiring president Grace Poe that the presidentiable was indeed eligible to run for the highest position of the land and reversed the Commission on Elections (Comelec)’s decision to disqualify her from the upcoming National and Local Elections (NLE). Despite the SC ruling, numerous Filipinos have expressed concern against this decision. However, Chiz Escudero, Poe’s running mate, has announced that there is no longer any question about the nature of her citizenship. “She is the daughter of Ferdinand Marcos,” Escudero admitted in a press conference held last night.
No longer a rumor
When it was revealed that Grace Poe was a foundling, numerous theories and rumors began to spread, the most famous of which was that she was the illegitimate daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
According to insider reports, Marcos was having an affair with former actress Rosemarie Sonora at the same time Poe was born. Sonora, who is also the sister of Poe’s adoptive mother Susan Roces, was secretly flown to Iloilo by Marcos, where she gave birth to Poe. It is widely known that Poe was found in a church in Jaro, Iloilo before being legally adopted by the late Fernando Poe Jr. and actress Susan Roces.
As Poe’s team searched for potential matches, Bongbong Marcos, a vice presidential candidate, offered to participate in a DNA test to prove that they were related.
Poe initially refused his offer, but finally conceded with some pressure from Danding Cojuangco, her largest financial backer.
“She has nothing to lose,” Cojuangco said in an interview with The Philippine Star. “Taking the DNA test will put a rest to all the rumors and prove that she is indeed a natural born Filipino citizen,” he explained.
Last March 27, a week after the second PiliPinas presidential debate was held, both the Poe-Escudero and Santiago-Marcos teams held a press conference at the Manila Hotel.
There, they revealed the positive results of the DNA test as well as another decision that will change the rest of the elections.
“I will now be running alongside my long lost sister, Grace Poe,” Bongbong Marcos announced.
When Poe was asked about her denial of relations to the Marcos family, she responded by saying, “It was an honest mistake. I had no intention to deceive the people because I wanted to confirm it first.”
The announcement came just a few days short of the second DLSU Leader I Want forum, where both Poe and Marcos are expected to appear. This will be their first public appearance as a new president-vice president tandem.
There have been mixed responses from the Lasallian community where some have decided to withdraw their support for Poe. Others, however, have decided to push for Poe as the next president due to her relation to the Marcos family.
“As long as she is a Marcos, I will vote for her,” Jun Bagnet (II, BS-LGL) says.
Others are criticizing Poe for her decision to run with Marcos. “Just because she found out that they are siblings doesn’t mean that they should run together. She should remember that the family she now belongs to is still that same family who instigated a dark period in Philippine history,” expresses Pepero Cruz (IV, AB-PHM).
The second DLSU Leader I Want forum is slated to happen on April 4, 2016 at the Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium, where all presidential and vice presidential candidates are expected to be present.