Grace Poe candidacy: The positives and the negatives

SPYBITS - The Philippine Star

The much-anticipated announcement from Sen. Grace Poe on her candidacy for the presidential elections in May 2016 is finally in place, with a lot of positive reactions from many voters who are looking for someone “fresh” and are just raring to support her. But what is really significant is there are reportedly several current Cabinet Secretaries who are what we can call “closet supporters” of the senator. Even some relatives of the President are reportedly for Grace – with some just more vocal for their support, while others are doing it quietly, our inside sources tell us.

Greg Domingo, who recently submitted his resignation as Trade Secretary, vehemently denied reports he is supporting Grace Poe, telling us he is with the administration and so will support the administration candidate. However, the rumor mill is abuzz with speculations that in the coming weeks, people will see more and more of administration allies openly going to the camp of Senator Grace Poe.

Be that as it may, a lot of businessmen, particularly those belonging to Makati business groups are very supportive of the senator, and some of them have been giving her a lot of advice on the economy and related matters. We’re also told some current Cabinet Secretaries (who are doing well in their jobs) may also be retained in the event Grace Poe turns out to be the winner.

But as always, there are nasty comments being issued against the Senator, with some “trolls” having reportedly been given their marching orders much earlier to hound her in social media. Yet, the more these people try to hit the young senator, the more she seems to become popular with Filipinos. Some groups are harping on the citizenship issue and her being a foundling, but observers have noted the attacks seem to have the opposite effect, because Grace seems to have become even more popular. In fact, she was even “adopted” by residents and local government officials in some marginalized towns in Zamboanga and Bataan – which should be an indication that she has captured the imagination of the underprivileged.

Her detractors will have to look for other issues that would stick, if they want to bring the senator down. Let’s not forget, sympathy is always a strong factor that can influence Filipinos, especially when they feel someone is being unfairly attacked or treated. Remember, too, that when PNoy ran for president in 2010, they kept saying he was not ready, did not have the experience or the know-how, but because of the sympathy for his late mother and the Aquino family, he easily won the 2010 presidential race. 

The same thing seems to be happening now with Grace because her father, FPJ, died with a “broken heart” because he supposedly won in the 2004 elections, but victory was “stolen” from him. FPJ was extremely popular and was looked up to by the masses as someone bigger than life and who genuinely understood the plight of the poor, and to this day, he has a lot of fans and followers. And then there is the Susan Roces factor – a well-respected figure in the movie industry and also well-liked by many Filipinos who see her as a strong, but compassionate woman, a lady with a lot of class whose appeal cuts across social classes. 

PhilJets to acquire brand new H130 chopper

Aviation company Philjets Group is set to soar even higher with the delivery of a brand new Airbus Helicopters’ H130 (formerly the EC130T2) early in 2016. According to PhilJets managing director Thierry Tea, the helicopter acquisition will expand their fleet size to three H130s and one AS350B2, with an additional three or four aircraft that will bring the total to nine by 2016.

The acquisition of the H130 – which will be operated by the PhilJets Aero Charter Corp. – underscores the confidence of the aviation company in the continuing growth of the Philippine helicopter market and the popularity of the H130 as the preferred type in its segment.

PhilJets is currently focused on the tourism sector, utilizing the H130 for those who want to have a different kind of touring experience with breathtaking helicopter flights that can bring them around the Philippines and even to previously inaccessible areas. Thierry says the Philippines has a lot to offer when it comes to scenic tourist destinations, and wants to “give visitors a bird’s eye view of those rarely seen areas, such as the Mt. Pinatubo crater in Luzon, or the rock island formations at El Nido in Palawan.”

According to the head of the Commercial Department of Airbus Helicopters Philippines Jussi Hoikka, the H130 has become “the best-selling helicopter of its class in the Philippines, appreciated by passengers for its spacious and comfortable cabin, and by operators such as PhilJets for its performance and ease of maintenance.”

Thierry disclosed that aside from tourism, the aviation company is also developing its capabilities in medical evacuation, the emergency sector and the mining industry. People can still remember how during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, it was helicopters that made a lot of difference in the search and rescue efforts, and in delivering speedy assistance to people in the disaster-struck areas. I’m told PhilJets has partnered with non-government organizations, local government units and agencies to provide safe transport of personnel and goods using its fleet of well-equipped helicopters and experienced support crews during such critical missions.

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Email: spybits08@gmail.com


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