Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd, a senior member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), which has offered to adopt Sen. Grace Poe as its standard-bearer in next year’s elections, on Wednesday urged the pre-election survey frontrunner to run as an independent and pursue the vision of her father, the late Fernando Poe Jr.. popularly called FPJ.
“On Fernando Poe Jr.’s birthday, honor his memory by running as an independent and fulfilling his vision to help the poor in this country,” Sotto said in a statement.
The late actor, who was tagged as the King of Philippine Movies and posthumously bestowed the title National Artist for Film, would have turned 76 on Thursday, August 20.
Poe Jr. passed away on December 2004 after he suffered from a stroke and slipped into a coma. He died at the age of 65 on December 14.
He was the opposition candidate for President in a scandal-marred elections that had President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as winner.
Sotto said Grace Poe running as an independent “would free her from special and political interests and will therefore put her in a better position to fight for the poor, which is what her father would have wanted.”
“I likewise believe that our people would be better served and FPJ’s memory would be better honored if Senator Grace continues the “Bayan ang Bida” vision of FPJ,” he added.
Sotto made the statements as the Liberal Party has reportedly continued to woo Poe to agree to run in tandem with the Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd.
Poe, in separate interview, said she intends to stay as an independent if in case she decides to run for a higher position in 2016.
She added that although she was part of the administration coalition during the 2013 mid-term elections, she has remained independent until today and she does not have any plans to change it.
“I don’t belong to any political party, and if there are parties that will support me, I will still stay as an independent if ever,” Poe told reporters.
The senator and her family will be at the Manila North Cemetery today (Thursday) to attend a requiem Mass to mark her father’s birth anniversary.