Town where FPJ got zero votes welcomes Grace

Eva Visperas - The Philippine Star

STO. TOMAS, Pangasinan, Philippines – This town, which gave zero votes to the late Fernando Poe Jr. during the 2004 presidential polls, gave a rousing welcome to his adoptive daughter, Sen. Grace Poe, when she had a motorcade in different towns across the province on Monday.

People went out and lined the road to catch a glimpse of Poe, who considers herself a Pangasinense. FPJ’s late father, Fernando Poe Sr., hails from Barangay Caoayan Kiling, San Carlos City of this province.

After learning Poe would pass by, residents boiled corn and offered some to her and her convoy during their motorcade. 

Poe thanked the residents for the corn, which she gladly ate during the motorcade to Rosales town.

Mayor Timoteo Villar Jr., for his part, said he is letting the people decide whom they would vote for on May 9.

Meanwhile, Poe told her kabaleyans in her mini rally in Malasiqui town that she would push for the long-time dream to construct an airport in the province if she gets elected.

An airport was to be constructed in Alaminos City a couple of years ago but only the site development was started and the project stalled.

She said with the airport in Pangasinan, there would be tourism and economy boom.

“Pangasinan has more population and it is located in the middle of many tourist attractions,” she said.

“Why, can’t Pangasinenses also have the right to dream?” she asked.

Poe was introduced as the next president in a rally in Malasiqui, where she narrated the trials and challenges she is going through in her life, especially from being a foundling and the cases she faced about her citizenship. But it’s a good thing the Supreme Court decided in her favor, she added.

Poe said she had undergone DNA tests but nothing has matched so far. But she said she grew up surrounded by love by her adoptive parents, top Philippine showbiz icons Susan Roces and FPJ.

She made the people laugh when she said that by her looks alone, from her nose, height and wide forehead, she is a Filipino like anyone else in the crowd.

She said her adoptive father also experienced the hardships she went through when he ran but lost in a presidential election marred by cheating.

“Even the birth certificate of his dad, they (enemies) needed to come to Pangasinan to look for it. Did you know that some people even attempted to burn the documents so there would be no proofs he had Poe relatives here?” she told the crowd.

“It’s too much in politics. But when I think that my dad did it not for himself but because he could no longer take that there are too many poor people, it’s a privilege to be given the chance to offer oneself who might be chosen as president,” Poe said.

Poe mentioned her programs to address hunger, poverty, health, education, agriculture, transportation, among others.  – With Marvin Sy, Manny Galvez

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